GEOFF WALKER is expected to arrive in South Yorkshire on Monday morning after agreeing a mid-season switch to Sheffield Steelers.
The 29-year-old Canadian forward has spent the first half of the 2016-17 campaign with Italian club HC Fassa, who play in the tri-nation Alpine Hockey League.
Having scored 52 points, including 20 goals, in 32 appearances, however, he has been persuaded to make the move to his second European club, with the Steelers hoping he can help them overhaul Elite League rivals Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants to land an historic third straight regular season league title.
Steelers’ head coach Paul Thompson, whose team defeated Dundee Stars 5-4 at Ice Sheffield on Saturday night before Walker’s capture was made public, revealed the winger was a player he had been interested in for a while.
“To bring a player with his ability and quality to the club so late in the season is a great addition,” explained Thompson.
“I wanted a player who will have an impact and I believe very much that he will. We have been talking for a while. Geoff was very much sought after by teams all over Europe and here in the UK.
“We stayed with the process as we were confident Geoff was the right player for us. I wanted some size and a natural goal-scorer and he brings both in plenty.”
After arriving in the UK on Monday morning, Walker can expect to skate with his new team-mates for the first time on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday night’s home clash with Fife Flyers.
Walker is a veteran of 293 games in the American Hockey League, playing for the Manchester Monarchs and Syracuse Crunch among others. Overall he scored 125 points during his five seasons in the North American second tier, including 47 goals. His last taste of action at that level came in 2015 with Syracuse. A couple of seasons in the ECHL followed before his switch to Fassa last summer.