How Jeff Legue helped Sheffield’s ice hockey kids

Jeff Legue and former coach Andre Payette
Jeff Legue and former coach Andre Payette

Jeff Legue says he hopes that Sheffield Steelers and Steeldogs can become friends again - and insists he is glad he moved to the English Premier League club in the Summer.

The Canadian only lasted a few months before his unexpected move back to Steelers in last December. But he regrets nothing about his time at Andre Payette’s club.

Before tonight’s Steelers game at Belfast, Legue told The Star: “Moving back to Steelers was an opportunity I never thought I’d get; it is like playing in a second league in football and Man United call; it’s a chance to play at the top level again. “But I don’t think it was a mistake to have joined Steeldogs in the first place.

“It has changed who I am. I have had experiences there that I would never have had in the Elite League. The coaching side of it, for instance, younger guys asked me questions over things I had taken for granted, so to help them out was rewarding. They need to learn and I enjoyed telling them where they should be or what they should do.

“I might not always say the right thing but it was an eye-opener trying to help these kids. It was exciting and I’ll miss being an influence on them. But we have exchanged numbers and I’ve told a couple to give me a call if they want any advice.”

Legue recognises there are frictions between the organisations and believes it would be mutually beneficial if they got on, better. “I get along with both sides and will stay in touch with Steeldogs” he said. “I didn’t want to leave on bad terms - we had been through a lot together. Right after our (Steeler) practice I stayed for a while to speak with some of them. There are no bridges burned with Steeldogs - yes they were disappointed but they wished me luck.”

Legue was nervous and didn’t want to make any mistakes in his first two games back at Steelers, but felt ‘more confident’ now.