Matt Marquardt will miss out on an on-ice reunion with his old club Coventry Blaze this weekend.
His shoulder injury is still taking a frustrating time to heal.
But the 30-year-old Canadian winger will get the chance this weekend to watch his old and new sides compete in back to back friendlies, the last before the serious business begins on September 9-10 weekend in the Challenge Cup combat.
Marquardt, injury apart, has enjoyed the change of scenery, although he retains fond memories of Coventry.
Speaking of his Sheffield experience, he said: “It’s great, we get treated first class, all the way.
“A great group of guys, most of them have been together for a long time and they really welcomed all the new guys like myself with open arms. It’s a great atmosphere.”
The forward “absolutely loved my time with Coventry Blaze, I got treated really well there, too. They are great people and I built some great relationships and I have nothing but good things to say about Coventry.”
Marquardt scored 35 points in 52 games for Blaze, who finished second from bottom of the division.
“We had some disappointments across the board there last year, things that didn’t go our way collectively. Things didn’t always click or click at the right times” he said.
“I wasn’t satisfied, personally, but sometimes that’s the way things go, you just have to work your hardest and I am very grateful for the opportunity here with Steelers and hope that we are going to have a good year and win with these guys. Hockey is a business and they are moving in another direction, they have put together a good club this year and the entire league looks great.”
Steelers host Coventry on Saturday before travelling to the SkyDome Arena the following night.
Factspot: Steelers held the whip-hand over Coventry Blaze last year. On two occasions, in October and December, they crushed Marquardt’s old team 6-1. But Blaze have a new look this season and won’t be easy opponents.