Sheffield Steelers have confirmed the signing of Canadian defender Mark Matheson.
The 33-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the Elite League having previously played over 400 games in the AHL in North America.
Matheson has spent the past few seasons in Europe, most recently with Dragons de Rouen in France.
Steelers’ boss Paul Thompson said: “We’ve signed a very good player in Mark – in fact, it has taken us 14 months to sign him.
“I tried hard last year after he was named MVP in France after his side’s play-off victory. We kept our eyes on him and this summer we were successful in signing him.
“He is a big body but also very mobile, something that is vital in today’s game. I know what I’m looking for from my defence and he brings it in abundance. He is a perfect fit into what we already have and hope to sign in the weeks ahead.
“Mark’s strengths are his all-round game – you can play him in any situation. That’s something I thought we needed more of.
“As well as being vastly experienced, I remember watching him in Linköping when I was coaching in Sweden – he is also a winner with Championships in Norway and France. I like that.
“Players know coming here to Sheffield that we are a winning organisation and that winning is expected. We want guys who want to be part of winning culture.
“He has played for big clubs with big expectations – he knows to expect the same here. Being a Steeler won’t phase him.”
Matheson added: “Playing in the Elite League and playing in England excites me and my family. This is going to be a great experience for us.
“We know a lot of players who have played in the league. The feedback has been good and especially coming to an organisation like Sheffield is reassuring.
“I’m a pretty patient player – I have a good hockey IQ. I’m used to playing heavy minutes and in all situations. I can play defensive if that’s required and also can be offensive if that’s what the team needs.
“Team is key to me – it starts and ends there. Whatever is required we try and deliver.”
(Image permission: Stephane Heude)