HE may have skated into hockey retirement but EIHL play-off winner Yared Hagos is still having a positive influence on former club Sheffield Steelers.
The 34-year-old former centre helped the Steelers lift the Elite League's final trophy of the 2016-17 season before hanging up his skates in the summer.
But the Swede has played a pivotal role in helping the Steelers bring in his fellow countryman Andreas Jamtin in time to face Nottingham Panthers and Braehead Clan this weekend.
Winger Jamtin, 34, has more than 680 league and play-off games under his belt in the Swedish Hockey League, as well as a season's worth of experience in the KHL with Medvescak Zagreb. He has also made 33 senior international appearances for his country and was part of the national side that won World Championship gold in 2013.
He arrives in South Yorkshire billed as an 'un-Swedish- type player, having been the SHL's most penalised player on three occasions. But Steelers' head coach Paul Thompson is more than happy what he is getting.
“I think we have signed an experienced and impressive player,” said Thompson. “I believe that Andreas will bring us some energy and a spark to our playing style. He likes to get involved, be physical and play a very un-Swedish game for a Swede.
“The recommendations from his previous coaches were excellent but, most of all, I must thank Yared (Hagos) who did so much behind the scenes to ensure we were able to make this signing.
“Andreas had options all over Sweden and Europe. But he wanted a new challenge and Yared and myself persuaded him that his next challenge was here in the UK. I think this signing has come at just the right time for us."
Jamtin joins a somewhat inconsistent Steelers team, whose promising start to the campaign has been frustrated by three losses in their last five games. But his friendship with Hagos convinced him it was the right place to be.
“We are good buddies and he was saying all this great stuff in the summer about the Steelers, living in Sheffield and UK hockey," said Jamtin.
“I did some work on the club on the internet and spoke with the head coach Paul Thompson. Yared told me how professional and diligent Paul was and how good the organisation seemed to be from top to bottom. The more we spoke the more I was excited."