A Sheffield Steelers’ club video trumpeting the return of defenceman Joonas Ronnberg has had some fans hoping it contains a hidden message.
The towering blue-line stopper had two stints with Steelers this year before seemingly ending his ties and returning to his family in Finland.
But the club coaxed him back and in the film the 34-year-old says: “I am back...for good.”
As the player has been a top plus-minus operator for Steelers this year, some supporters were hoping this hints at a fresh contract next season.
Coach Paul Thompson said: “That was great - yes I heard that. He is very well thought of by this organisation and while we have not discussed any contract I am sure we’d love to have him if he is available.
“He has had more comebacks than Status Quo, that man!”
Thompson agreed that the player was a huge all-round influence on the team.
“Yes, exactly. He signifies what we need in that position, he is a leader, a warrior a proper defenceman who stops other people playing.
“He is not going to crush another guy but he will box them out; he is always on the inside - and that’s an example to any young player - and ofcourse he has the reach of all reaches.
“He doesn’t care if he scores, he just wants to win. He takes his craft very seriously.”
Ronnberg’s presence has allowed Zack Fitzgerald to play up front with Cole Shudra and Liam Kirk- the American played on the wing in the AHL.
“Zack is a smart player who always makes a great first pass” said his coach.
“The two young ‘uns can give the puck to the old fella and watch the mayhem happen.”
Ronnberg will be patrolling the defensive zone on this weekend against Nottingham Panthers and Manchester Storm, Saturday and Sunday, at Sheffield Arena.