Re-signed DeCaro can help win title for Sheffield Steelers

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Ryan Finnerty’s decision to re-sign goalie John DeCaro will certainly split opinions, and for various reasons.

DeCaro, you will recall, left the Steelers for Norway at the end of last season - but had a change of mind once he returned home to Alaska and contacted Finnerty three weeks ago to see if his old job was still available.

For many Steelers fans it left a sour taste in the mouth that Big John had walked away from the club. Finnerty, however, decided that he would rather go back to his former back stopper than take a chance on signing a new guy to the league, despite looking at former Fife goalie Gareth Zemlak and former Coventry starter Brett Jaegar.

Many supporters also feel that DeCaro took his foot off the gas at the back end of last year, along with his room mate Mike Ramsay and Colt King.

Finnerty, though, disagrees, and believes that the Steelers haven’t seen the best of DeCaro - a man he always had trust and faith in.

It’s another big call for the Steelers coach, who could have quiet easily took the easy way out and replaced his goalie with a new fresh face.

However Finnerty again showed, like he did last year when firing Colt King, that he is man enough to make the big and sometimes unpopular decision.

I also don’t think you can throw DeCaro into the same pot as King and Ramsay, both of whom turned off the switch post Christmas with below par performances.

I think you have to give Finnerty credit for that: he knew DeCaro wasn’t the most popular player in the stands and that he would - and I’m sure is today - getting stick from the users of internet forums and the like.

Finnerty, though, has a clear image of what next years team is going to be like and he wants DeCaro behind the new look bigger, deeper and strong Steelers defence.

For DeCaro’s part you also have to tip your hat to him. He has openly admitted he was flattered and taken in by the big Norwegian offer and only decided it was the wrong thing to do when he put his feet up at home after the season ended.

The move will cost DeCaro thousands of Euros, and might cost Finnerty a few supporters.

But both coach and goalie want each other, want to be Steelers and believe that this is the best move for the team. It takes a big man to admit he had made the wrong decision and then make the calls to turn that decision around, I give DeCaro credit for that.

Big John faced over 1700 shots last year in fewer games than Murphy faced 1400 and Kowalski 1500. DeCaro was left out to dry so often last season that perhaps he became the scapegoat for the end of season dip that took place around the Steelers team.

DeCaro has won before, has led before and there is no question he is a well liked and respected member of the dressing room.

John will know that there are questions being asked about him, he will know he has to come back with a point to prove.

Knowing DeCaro as I did last year I don’t think those questions will over bother him, I think he has already shown that he is big and ugly enough to man up to those questions and answer them with a championship come the end of March.