Meyers heads south after Steelers exit

Danny Meyers leaves the Sheffield Steelers after winn ing the Elite League play-off championship.
Danny Meyers leaves the Sheffield Steelers after winn ing the Elite League play-off championship.
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DANNY MEYERS will be sad to leave the Sheffield Steelers, but departs admitting his two-year spell at the club could not have had a more “perfect ending.”

Earlier today it was announced that Meyers would be joining Guildford Flames in the English Premier League, regarded by many as the second tier in British ice hockey.

It’s believed his departure from the Motorpoint Arena – which ended in Elite League play-off triumph at the end of last season – is something that suits both parties, with Meyers preparing to head ‘home’ to the south of England with his family, from where they originally herald.

The 6ft 3ins British defenceman made himself a popular figure in South Yorkshire, his arrival there two years ago causing some short-lived controversy after his somewhat unexpected release by Steelers’ arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers.

But in Guildford, regarded as one of the biggest clubs in the EPL, Meyers has found himself a solid organisation which will challenge seriously for honours on an annual basis, albeit missing out on the main trophies last time around having won the regular season league title in 2012-13.

“It’s obviously a great shame that I’m not back in Sheffield next season, but for me it was the perfect ending,” said Meyers.

“Last season’s play-off win will forever rank as my favourite moment in my career.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Flames organisation. I will be moving my family back to the south of England where we are originally from and where we now plan to set our roots.

“I feel my best hockey is still ahead of me.”

Meyers leaves the Steelers having played 118 games, in which he scored eight goals in the 28 points he accumulated, his final game being the memorable 3-2 overtime win in the play-off final against Belfast Giants at the National Ice Centre.

“Danny has a depth of experience both domestically and internationally that makes him a special find this off season,” added Flames head coach, Paul Dixon.

“He is an excellent leader and an intense competitor, who will be a big part of anchoring our defensive group.”

HULL STINGRAYS have struck up a deal with EPL outfit Peterborough Phantoms which both clubs hope will enable them to better develop their British talent.

As a result of the agreement, Stingrays’ 18-year-old defenceman Scott Robson will be on a two-way contract with the Phantoms for the 2014-15 season.

In return the likes of Phantoms’ prospects such as 20-year-old Luke Ferrara and Lewis Hook, 17, will have opportunities to play for the Stingrays at the higher level Elite League.

“I am really looking forward to working with our young British players and developing their game, but it helps when you can play some games and be put in different situations,” said Stingrays’ player-coach Omar Pacha.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone.”

Phantoms player-coach Slava Koulikov, who came through the development system in Hull and spent around 10 seasons playing for the city’s various top-level teams, including Stingrays, added: “This link-up is very important to the development of some of our young British players.

“It is one thing the guys practicing with the Stingrays, but you need to be playing too as that will quicken your development.”

News of the agreement between the two clubs came shortly after Pacha had announced the signing of Canadian goaltender David Brown on a two-year contract.

The 29-year-old, from Ontario, was an eighth-round draft pick by Pittsburgh Penguins in 2004 and will also be undertaking an MBA programme at the University of Hull as part of his deal.

“He is the goalie I wanted from day one,” said Pacha.