Finnerty’s forward thinking secures season

Dave Simms.
Dave Simms.

The signing of Simon Ferguson has been on the cards for some time and, in fact, the paperwork was completed two weeks ago as Ryan Finnerty planned in advance for what he believes will happen later this season, with a return to work of the NHL and the loss of Tom Sestito.

Finnerty hoped that the signing of Sestito would have an immediate and positive impact, and he was right.

Finnerty also knew that one day Sestito would either return to the NHL or pastures new if the strike continued. The Steelers boss was aware that if he left finding a replacement for Sestito until after the lockout was over in North America he would be in trouble.

Those players available to replace him would sell themselves out to the highest bidder and with high spending teams in Germany, Switzerland, Russia and Austria also looking, we would be left without a chair when the music stops.

In signing Ferguson now, Finnerty has covered a couple of angles. He now has an abundance of forwards putting pressure on any not performing as he would like. He has the ability to sit a couple down if they aren’t finishing those hits, or driving the net.

The Ferguson signing also takes the pressure off the Sestito situation. If he returns to Philadelphia now at a moment’s notice, the Steelers are no worse off.

One signing, that of Ferguson, covers so many angles for Finnerty that you have to tip your hat to him for his forward planning.

Whilst one new player will be arriving in Sheffield soon, one is laid up in his bed, and will be for 2-3 months.

James Jorgenson broke his foot in Nottingham last week, and early indications are that a pin has been inserted and the Steelers blue liner will be out until almost play off time.

Again, forward thinking from Finnerty in the summer was to sign Danny Meyers, giving Sheffield six quality D men. With ‘Jorgy’ out this decision looks genius as it gave the Steelers the required depth.

Coming into the busy Christmas and New Year period, the Arena side still have the required depth of squad to compete.

Finnerty will also be hoping that the signing of Ferguson will add a spark into the Steelers who, despite winning 11 of their last 13 games, have done so without too much flair or spark.

Ferguson is known as a disturber, a player who gets in people’s faces and causes havoc – then again so were so many of this season’s summer signings.

However, that ‘in your face’, spit-and-feathers approach hasn’t been seen too many times this year, despite a winning record that most would be proud of.

It’s a strange call for the coach. His job is to win games, but he knows he also has to sell a product, win with style or win with Steel and grit.

Right now his team is just winning.

That is enough for most people but the top at the Steelers expect more for their summer investment.

With Sheffield playing Dundee last night they keep their Scottish theme this weekend with games on the road in Braehead and Edinburgh.

The Clan are this year’s Jekyll and Hyde team, losing to Fife and Edinburgh but winning in Cardiff and then beating out Coventry.

It also sees the Steelers line up against their number one summer signing target, Jade Galbraith.

The Clan retained Galbraith’s signature, a move that upset Finnerty. On Saturday, Finnerty’s side will have the chance to show Galbraith that he made the wrong decision.