Sheffield Steelers and why Aaron Fox values return of netminder Matt Greenfield so highly

AARON FOX hailed the return of netminder Matt Greenfield for a third season with Sheffield Steelers as ‘one of the most important’ pieces of business he will do all summer.

But the deal to bring the 2023-24 Elite League MVP was far from straightforward, with the 29-year-old keen to explore his options having back-stopped the Steelers to the treble last season.

Opportunities did present themselves elsewhere for the American but, in the end, he decided he wanted to stay with his South Yorkshire “family” for a third year.

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“There’s no question this is one of if not the most important business we will do all summer,” said Steelers’ head coach Fox of a goalie who topped the stats in every category in 2023-24 – winning 38 of the 47 games he started and posting a goals against average of just 1.92 with a save percentage of 92.96.

BIG DECISION: Matt Greenfield explored his options before deciding on a third season at Sheffield Steelers. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.BIG DECISION: Matt Greenfield explored his options before deciding on a third season at Sheffield Steelers. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.
BIG DECISION: Matt Greenfield explored his options before deciding on a third season at Sheffield Steelers. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.

“Getting Greener back checks a box that leaves zero doubt for me that we will give ourselves a chance to win every time we put his name down on the line-up card.

“With other options out there for him, Greener decided he wanted to run it back which also had a play in a couple of other players who weren’t signed yet to also decide to run it back.

“But I couldn’t be happier to have him back here.”

While tempted to move on, Greenfield said he was ultimately persuaded to remain in Sheffield once he knew the core of last season’s roster was also sticking around.

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FOCUS: Sheffield Steelers' netminder, Matt Greenfield has returned for a third season with the Elite League champions. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.FOCUS: Sheffield Steelers' netminder, Matt Greenfield has returned for a third season with the Elite League champions. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.
FOCUS: Sheffield Steelers' netminder, Matt Greenfield has returned for a third season with the Elite League champions. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.

“There were some interesting opportunities,” said the former Kansas City Mavericks stopper. “But then when we saw that the core group was returning I decided that Sheffield was the place for me.

““This team is like a family – it’s such a tight and special group. It was from the start of last year and continued right through to the end. Groups like that don’t come around that often.

“A chance to defend our titles coupled with the chance to play in the Champions Hockey League and test ourselves at the highest level was also something I didn’t want to pass up on.”