Don’t rule out two popular Sheffield Steelers making shock comebacks – Bob Westerdale

Is there a chance at the end of the coming season that popular Steelers forwards Anthony DeLuca, 27, and Tanner Eberle, 28 – seemingly lost to the club at this point – will put on again? orange jerseys?

DeLuca disappeared in North America after a UK drug test found cannabis in his system last November.

Eberle is getting married this summer and there is an obvious complication as his wife has work responsibilities on the other side of the Atlantic.

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Anthony DeLuca, just days before his suspension for drugs in his system. Photo: Dean Woolley

So as things stand you won’t see when Sheffield take on Nottingham Panthers either, in an exhibition game on Saturday August 27.

But don’t rule out either of these wingers joining the party late.

Let’s look at DeLuca first.

He has now officially started his three-month suspension for banned substances in his blood.

The Star understands he will be free to play for any team that gets him from the third week of September.

So he could be an option for Steelers coach Aaron Fox if a player leaves (like Travis Oleksuk did last season after just eight games) or if a forward gets injured (like Brendan Connolly did). last November.)

The question will be whether DeLuca’s drug indiscretion is considered so important in the grand scheme of things – would the club accept that the athlete made an error in judgment and moved on?

Would sponsors and fans want to see the return of the player, who played for two ECHL clubs after leaving the UK?

Would it be easy to arrange a work permit for a player who left this country under such circumstances?

The Steelers certainly missed his brawny frame in the latter part of the season, but there are bridges to cross.

Eberle, I imagine, will restart his hockey career in North America, possibly in the ECHL, for the 2022-23 season.

But if things haven’t gone well in Sheffield’s roster, for whatever reason, it’s more than possible that the door will be left open for him at Sheffield Arena.

His Sheffield team-mate Brendan Connolly has already said he would like to try and persuade Eberle to return to the fold.

But that would be a difficult question.

The situation will become clearer when Fox completes its summer recruiting program.

According to his current roster, he has two goaltenders, three defensemen and seven forwards to find – although it’s well known that five rookies within that group are in the bag.

The search for imports continues elsewhere in the EIHL.

Kalamazoo Wings center Tanner Sorenson has signed for the Nottingham Panthers, saying he can’t wait to play in front of a ‘rowdy’ fanbase and win some silverware.

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