Former Sheffield Steelers legend yet to find a job

Ashley Tait - GB legend
Ashley Tait - GB legend

Ashley Tait, one of the greatest servants British ice hockey has ever known, is struggling to find a team to play for next season.

Coventry Blaze let the elder statesman go - he turns 42 in August - earlier this summer.

Tait had made 590 appearances for the club and it was expected he would find a job in an Elite League expanded by the arrival of Milton Keynes and Guildford Flames.

But that hasn’t happened for a Great Britain veteran who graced the Sheffield Arena ice for three seasons, from 2010-13.

There has been disappointment too for last-season Steeler Mike Ratchuk.

He was unveiled at a Guildford player weeks ago.

It appears the American then had a change of heart and wanted time to reconsider his position. Flames, not surprisingly, moved on.

Of last year’s Sheffield crop there has been a high number of retirements: Rod Sarich, Anders Franzon, Guillaume Desbiens and Yared Hagos have hung up the skates and Markus Nilsson is thought to be pursuing a career as a fireman in his native Sweden.

Jace Coyle has signed for SønderjyskE in Denmark and Geoff Walker has committed to Fehérvár AV19 of Hungary. Luke Ferrara is a Coventry Blaze new boy.

Centre Tyler Mosienko, who walked out on Steelers mid-season for Frederikshavn White Hawks of Denmark, didn’t last long there - he’s skipped to Epinal in France.

Meanwhile, Steelers official Dave Simms believes that while there is a richness of talent at the Arena, other teams will have even more depth than Sheffield next season.

“We will have four lines but so will the likes of Cardiff Devils, Nottingham Panthers and Belfast Giants” he said.

“Some will probably have more experienced - Matt Myers, for instance could be a 12th forward at Cardiff. But on the other hand - we wouldn’t swap any of our players for anybody on any other team.”