SIMMS ON STEELERS: New signing auits all

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People have many different conceptions about the NHL lock out in North America and how it affects players and clubs like the Steelers.

With so many NHL players sitting at home while the players union and the owners try and settle their dispute, many of them are trying to find places to play, not so much to make money but just to play and keep match fit for when their league starts up again.

Clubs find themselves with a dilemma. They are approached by these highly skilled super players who for the most part are available and prepared to come for less money than they would normally want.

The flip side is of course that at any given moment these players can be recalled by their NHL clubs leaving teams like the Steelers scrambling to find permanent replacements down the road.

So are clubs right to bring in such talent, maybe for a week, maybe for a month or maybe, just maybe for the whole year?

Of course they are and the Steelers were right to bring in Tom Sestito yesterday from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Fans want to see the best that they can, clubs want the profile of bringing these players in. Ryan Finnerty needed a replacement for Cory Pecker, he tried many different avenues including full time AHL replacements but they, though, turned out to be either too expensive or just not the right fit.

With the recommendation of Steven Goertzen, the Steelers right winger, Finnerty moved to secure the signing of a player with a big reputation and a hard punch. Sestito is a proper power forward, a killer in many ways, a man who makes his living playing the toughest role in the toughest league in the world. He hits like a train, fights when it’s required and can score goals as he drives the net taking all-comers with him.

The Steelers will benefit from his experience, his toughness and presence while the player will benefit from the ice time and the game time ahead of his return to the NHL.

Many think the lock out might last all season. Sestito won’t but the Steelers will be keeping their fingers crossed that they can keep this huge asset for as long as possible.

What a weekend for the big man to make his debut. On Saturday the Steelers travel to Fife, one of the form teams of the first month.

Twenty four hours later a crunch game with Belfast Giants, the team that now tops the Elite League standings. It might only be the first week in October but someone has to put the brakes on the Belfast start to the year.

Steelers have signed many former NHL stars, Priestlay, Shudra, Courtenay, Vial and Kruse spring to mind.

They have never though signed a player whose last game before making his Steelers debut was in the NHL and for the world famous Philadelphia Flyers. The only similarities are the Orange uniforms!

The signing of Sestito is a sign of serious intentions by Finnerty and the Steelers. Fans are excited and rightly so, the club is excited and rightly so, one of the best power forwards in the toughest league in the world has just signed here in Sheffield and will be in town on Sunday night, at 5pm playing for the Steelers against Belfast.

I think you should be there, don’t you?