Oh brother! Sheffield Steelers keep quiet over Whistle noise

Jackson Whistle
Jackson Whistle

Sheffield Steelers are remaining silent on suggestions they are whistling up two brothers for their 2018-19 squad.

The club hasn’t had siblings in their ranks since Ashley and Warren Tait, a decade ago. Before then, there were Teeder and John Wynne and Andy and Kevin Havenhand.

Jackson Whistle playing for GB v Kazakhstan. Pic: Dean Woolley

Jackson Whistle playing for GB v Kazakhstan. Pic: Dean Woolley

Now there is strong speculation that goaltender Jackson Whistle, 22, and his younger, forward brother Brandon - sons of former Steelers’ coach Dave - have been head-hunted.

The netminder, who has spent two seasons at Belfast Giants, is a GB international - he qualifies as a dual national despite being born in Canada.

At 20, Brandon is maybe a project for coach Paul Thompson, who likes to bring exciting young talent through the ranks.

The youngster has been learning his trade in Junior A ice hockey league in British Columbia, with the delightfully-named Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

But replacing the departed Ervins Mustukovs in goal is THE priority for the club.

If the former Kelowna Rockets’ stopper is confirmed as a new Steeler he will enter a high-pressure atmosphere.

Sheffield have to be sure they have the right man if they are going to have success in their stated aim of catching champions Cardiff Devils, who ironically, have a South Yorkshire born goalie, Ben Bowns, in their net.

Bowns pipped Whistle as number one GB goalie in the recent World Championships.

Steelers have been keeping an unusually low-profile since the end of the season, when they were stung by the level of criticism after a campaign which ended without a trophy.

Fans have been frustrated by a lack of new signings - but that seems about to change - although Steelers are refusing to confirm or deny the Whistle situation.

n Dave Whistle was a coach at both Belfast and Steelers - the latter for a few months only in 2005-06.

He has also been in charge at Cardiff.