Mathieu Roy’s buddy Matt Marquardt will be a team-mate at Steelers next season.
Sheffield coach Paul Thompson raided his old club’s roster to bring the Canadian power winger from Coventry Blaze.
Marquardt, (nicknamed Mags) who turns 30 years old in July, was a team-mate of Roy’s at Florida Everblades (2011-13.)
Last year was his debut in the Elite League, the 6ft 2ins left-shot scoring 13 goals and 22 assists (35pts) in 52 games.
Before joining the Blaze, he’d said: “Mathieu is one of my closest friends. We were roommates and we won a championship together, I’m very proud of him and his success in the UK. He speaks very highly of the league...he said it would be great for me.”
Once described as “a relentless and punishing hitter with the ability to change the momentum of the game with his checks” his arrival softens the blow of the loss of Guillaume Desbiens, who played a similar role.
Marquardt, an accomplished guitarist, whose brother is a country singer, commented: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Steelers. When one of your best friends plays there and keeps telling you how good an organisation it is, how good the training, the facilities and the attention to detail is, you can’t help but want a piece of that. I want to be pushed, I want to work hard and I want to win.
“I’d like to think I fit in well with Steelers’ style. I can play in both ends, I skate well and can score. I can play a physical game as well.”
The coach said: “Matt will bring size, skill and intensity. We needed to be a little bigger and I wanted some net presence. With Desy leaving we had a hole that needed to be filled in that area. Matt has all the tools, I don’t think he had the best of years last season and perhaps feels he has something to prove. I like the hunger that he has expressed to me several times.
“Matt has won before. He knows that feeling and knows the pains you go through to experience it. He is a very good fit on many levels.”
Steelers’ top scorer Roy added: “First Matt is probably the best team mate I ever played with, especially in the room he will be a big part of our leadership. On the ice we all see this year what he can do, he is a big guy and plays hard.
“He is not easy to move around and will do anything to win. I think he will fit into the Steelers way very well.”