When voting for my Steelers’ player of the year I will be putting the cross next to one of the unsung heroes of the side this year.
A player who gets on with his job night in and night out, a man who never lets us down and who puts his body on the line for the good of the team.
Davey Phillips will get my vote.
What a signing he has been for us. Highly rated in Hull with much potential. A big move to Belfast where he was rightly adnired before a move to North America and a year in the AHL.
Coventry, Denmark and then an eventful year in Manchester followed before his move to link up with his former GB coach Paul Thompson in Sheffield.
Since then we have seen Phillips play his best and most consistent hockey of his career. A reliable and trustworthy player in key situations, Phillips has again become one of the most dependable British stars in the game.
Phillips brings both on the ice performances and off the ice team spirit to the Steelers group. A funny man, quick witted and humorous. I think Davey filled a lot of the whole left by Jason Hewitt and that was a tough hole to fill.
Last Sunday we didn’t think Davey would make the game, the night before in Nottingham saw his suffer a full on slap shot off the foot, the lad was in agony – on Sunday though when we walked into the Arena Davey was there ready to go, an injection was needed pre game so he could put his foot in the skate. After the game as the players sat around the room Davey had his foot in a bucket of ice – even the buckets are Orange in Steelerland (see attached photo)
As well as patrolling the blue line for the Steelers Davey will soon fly off with Team GB to the World Championships. The initial 28-man squad was announced on Tuesday with young Liam Kirk getting the call.
Will Kirk make the 23? Well he deserves too. Last weekend Boston Bruins led a group of three NHL sides scouting the games, that’s eight NHL sides who have looked at Kirky, this young lad playing in a man’s league. I will be bowled over if he doesn’t get drafted after listening to many of these scouts. They see so much potential. By grasping the opportunity to make the Steelers ranks so young and thus by playing against men rather than boys of his own age Liam has made himself unique in the upcoming NHL draft.
“Boys don’t play in men’s leagues” said the Bruins scout to me on Sunday. “When they do we take notice”
Saturday will be an emotional night at the Arena with the return of Guillaume Desbiens for “One Night Only”
The Steelers have invited Desbiens, the hero of last years play off championship back to Sheffield so we can all say one big “Thank You” for some of the most fantastic and emotional experiences ever seen inside the Arena – anyone present last April when Desi scored the overtime winning goal against the Nottingham Panthers will never forget it. The goal, the spirt and emotion of that night will certainly live with me for a long time.
How we have missed Desbiens as well since he retired. His leadership and character can’t be bottled. They don’t make them like him anymore do they.
There will be over 8,000 fans inside the Arena for the last league Steelers v Panthers meeting of the year – what a night to say thank you to Guillaume.