One more piece of the jigsaw in place, and a new defenceman for the Sheffield Steelers as Czech stay-at-home D-man Jiri Gula arrives at the House of Steel. That leaves just one more spot on the blue line and three forwards left to complete the roster for the upcoming season.
Gula comes to Sheffield recommended by former Steelers netminder Marek Pinc who has seen the new boy play at first glance. He has spent all his professional career in the Czech Republic and with HC Litvinov from whom the Steelers have signed him from; coming through the junior ranks to the senior team in 2009-10. He has also had a few spells in the second tier of Czech hockey but the majority of his career has been in the top flight.
Whilst at Litvinov, Gula also featured in their 2015-16 Champions Hockey League adventure where they made it to the last 16 stage before being beaten 7-2 on aggregate by eventual champions Frölunda. This and almost 400 games in the Czech top division, shows how much experience the newcomer has. Despite the extensive experience, Gula is just 28.
The new boy will wear 89 in his time at the Steelers, becoming the second player to wear that number after the ill=fated signing of Ryan Hayes in the latter stages of the 2015-16. He also continues the bizarre trend of Steelers new signings this season beginning with the forename initial J.
Who will be next? Jaromir Jagr maybe? Haha, now I’m starting to dream I guess.