Sheffield Steelers: Max finds a home from home

Sheffield Steelers Coach Doug Christiansen
Sheffield Steelers Coach Doug Christiansen

French Canadian Maxime Lacroix is quitting European hockey for Britain - because we play the north American style hockey here in England!

Confused? Lacroix isn’t. He chalked up a point a game for Odense in the Denmark last season but their fancy style of play wasn’t to his liking.

Instead, the 6ft centreman joined Sheffield Steelers today, confident in the knowledge that Elite League hockey more closely resembles the hustle and bustle of the minor leagues of north America.

The 26-year-old explained: “I had trouble adjusting to the style of play over there. That’s why the move to Sheffield is good for me, a chance to get back to the North American way of playing the game. Last year I played on the wing when I like to play centre.

“Our D zone coverage was passive and we spent too long in our own end. I like to be aggressive on the forecheck. When I spoke with Doug Christiansen (Sheffield coach) it was important I understood his style of hockey, I need to have fun when I play. “We have similar views. I love the game but I need to have fun as well.

“Sheffield want to win as I do. The team is a contender playing at the top of the league and I want to be a big part of that team. We have lots of good players, lots of AHL guys with NHL games, we all work together to help the side win.”

Steelers, who had signed Ryan Menei as their new scorer before he dramatically back-tracked on the deal, will hope Lacroix will be able to replicate his ECHL scoring form - he netted 33 goals in 63 games for South Carolina Stingrays in 2008-9.

Last season, with Odense, he scored 39 points in 40 games, 15 of them goals, which is no bad return

n Watch out for details of which Star readers won free tickets for the Steelers v Panthers game, (September 8) soon.