Watch out for new Sheffield Steelers tough guy!
Steelers’ coach Paul Thompson has jokingly nicknamed Fredrik Vestberg as the team’s trouble-making new “goon.”
The normally-swish Swede picked up his first two-minute minor penalty of the season against Coventry on December 20.
And he took a hooking minor with four minutes to go in the Boxing Day home win over Nottingham Panthers - stopping a visiting forward as he wound up for a possible equaliser.
“Up until last weekend, Vesty hadn’t taken a penalty” said Thompson.
“Now he is the goon on our team! Taking away scoring chances are good penalties. Bad penalties are 200 feet from your own net.”
Vestberg, 32, has a record of keeping his nose clean.
He only took six minutes of penalties all season when he played for Almtuna in Sweden in 2013-14.
Meanwhile, Thompson is focussing on Friday’s opponents, Manchester Storm.
“We haven’t seen them for a while, they had a very good power play, 30 odd per cent at the start of the season. They are a small team, but they are shifty. It is a tough league to win in consistently. It doesn’t matter where you are or who you are. We will show them the utmost respect when we face them.”
The coach picked out American forward Luke Salazar as a ‘smart’ player, adding if you give teams room, time space...it is a game of mistakes.
The more mistakes you don’t make the more chance you have to win. We won’t be taking them lightly, believe me.”
Meanwhile, Thompson does not believe Cardiff Devils, who have been enjoying table-top position in the League, are title favourites.
“They might be in a strong position but this League is up to us” he said.
“On our day, when we are healthy and going full out, we are the toughest team in the League to play against.”
Steelers have beaten Manchester 3-1, 5-4 and 4-1 so far this season.