SHEFFIELD, U.K. – The Sheffield Steelers filled one of their remaining three import slots with the announcement that they have signed 68 game NHL’er Steven Goertzen.
The 28-year-old Canadian is a seventh round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team who he played 46 games with over two seasons. Goertzen has also featured in games with NHL outfits, the Phoenix Coyotes and more recently the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010.
During his time with the Blue Jackets, Goertzen played alongside former Steelers Player/Coach and fan favourite Ben Simon, both of whom share similar qualities on the ice.
The 6’1 inch power forward has a wealth of experience in the AHL, icing in 438 games with Syracuse, Albany, San Antonio and Springfield.
Last season Goertzen began his European jaunt after signing with BK Mlada Boleslav of the Czech Extraliga, where he managed 3 points (2+1) and 75 penalty minutes in 43 games.
The Steelers have once again used their partnership with the University of Sheffield to lure Goertzen to the Elite League, where he will stay initially for two seasons.
Goertzen is not exactly known for his high end points production, but more for his tireless work ethic and tenacious style of play, which will no doubt go down well with the Sheffield fans.
Steelers Head Coach Ryan Finnerty spoke of his latest acquisition, “This has been a hard long slog but we got our man. We have signed quality and leadership and a player with a career ahead of him. “We haven’t signed this guy to be our top scorer but a big power forward who fore checks hard and plays with an edge. You don’t play where Steve has played if you’re not something special,” Finnerty explained.
With just 37 days remaining until the first puck is dropped for the Steelers, there certainly seems to be an air of excitement at Sheffield and around the league.
Goertzen is the latest of several high profile signings to come to the EIHL, with the likes of Mike Danton and the Leeb brothers at Coventry, Noah Clarke at Belfast and Devin DiDiomete at Cardiff, the EIHL wont be short of entertainment this season.
Goertzen speaking from his home in Alberta, confirmed his intentions with the Steelers, “I’m excited by this new challenge. I’m a hard-nosed forward, I earn respect by being a hard working player for my team. I pride myself on my all around play, whilst I’m not know for being an overly offensive player I’m comfortable contributing points,” Goertzen said.
“I’ve been a leader wherever I have played, it’s a role I enjoy and I’m comfortable with. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the club and the guys I will be joining, we are all the same, we all want to win and be part of something special going forward. I can’t wait to arrive,” Goertzen added.
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