Sheffield Steelers buy out Sheffield Steeldogs

Sheffield Steelers buy out Sheffield Steeldogs

Robert Newbolt04 Aug 2023Robert Newbolt»

Sheffield Steelers of the EIHL have effectively become the farm team (in NHL terms) of the NIHL Sheffield Steeldogs.


An agreement has been reached for Sheffield Steelers to acquire Sheffield Steeldogs, and that agreement will allow Sheffield Steeldogs to fully participate in the Planet Ice National Ice Hockey League in the 2023 season and beyond.

The Planet Ice National Ice Hockey league is pleased to confirm that 11 teams will compete in the 23 /24 season. The Steeldogs organisation needed to evaluate some financial and operational restructuring options, resulting in Tony Smith taking ownership of the Steeldogs. Tony has confirmed that the Steeldogs will be sustainable and compliant moving forward.

The purchase was long and protracted as another body with interests in the NIHL (Planet Ice, the sponsors) objected to it. However, Tony Smith got his way and bought out the Steeldogs ostensibly to help bring through new English talent far more easily.

Tony Smith commented:

“Quite simple, as an organisation, and as a league, we need to start developing British kids.

“As a league, we moved to 15 imports because we could not find 10 more Brits (one per EIHL team) good enough to play in our league.

“But we are working on it. We want to bring back those lads who have left; maybe those who have gone abroad because there are not as many quality games here for them to develop.

“We need kids to develop to a good NIHL standard, if they are good at that level they have half a chance of going further.

“I see Guildford Flames are taking a punt on a former GB U18 player (Sam Talbot.)

“Cardiff Devils have just put (Doncaster-born goaltender) Ben Norton on a two-way with Bristol Pitbulls.

“Our way is to try and get a bit more control over our feeder farm team, Steeldogs. We want their team to be competitive but use them to help kids make the grade.”

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