Rivalries in any sport are big business. Fans do not like each other; coaches trash talk each other and families get divided. Then there are the players. Whilst many fans consider crossing the divide a satanic act players have a living to think of. Even so very few players ever play for both sides.
Now Danny Meyers former club captain of the Nottingham Panthers has done just that by signing for the Sheffield Steelers. Argued as one the biggest rivalries in European ice hockey Meyers joins a select bunch, which have played for both sides.
We take a look at those players.
Geoff Woolhouse – Despite being born in Sheffield Geoff Woolhouse has spent the majority of his career in Nottingham. First of all at the ENL Nottingham Lions before backing up for the Panthers. In 2010 Woolhouse jumped ship and signed to back up the Steelers.
Dan Green – Green spent one season as a back up goalie in Sheffield before switching straight to the Nottingham Panthers in 2010.
Dan Tessier – The Canadian is one of biggest names to cross the divide and is a rarity in that he has returned to the club he left. Tessier first signed for the Nottingham Panthers in 2005 before leaving to join Lausanne in Switzerland. But in 2006 Tessier was back only this time at the Sheffield Steelers. The forward returned for second season before heading to Duisburg and Kalamazoo before the end of season. The following season though Dan Tessier was back in the UK and back in a Nottingham Panthers jersey making him a rarity in being a Panther, a Steeler and a Panther again.
Jeff Sebastian – Joining Tessier in the back and forth stakes is Jeff Sebastian. The Canadian was with the Panthers in 1997 but after time spent in Germany he found his way north to Sheffield in 2000. After 2 seasons he headed back out to Europe only to return to the Elite League for the second time with for the second time the Nottingham Panthers. Sebastian also holds the same back and forth record with the Steelers’ other arch-rival’s, Manchester. First signing with the Manchester Storm in 1996 and then with the Manchester Phoenix in 2003.
Ashley Tait – Tait is another Canadian to have crossed the divide. He, like Meyers, was a long time Panther spending 10 years at the club during 2 spells. However even Ashley Tait spent 5 years at the Coventry Blaze before signing for the Sheffield Steelers in 2007.
Paul Adey – The longest serving Panther to ever cross the divide to Sheffield is Paul Adey. Adey was a member of the Panthers organisation from 1988 to 1999 as both a player and a coach before unceremoniously cutting ties with Panthers owner Neil Black by heading up the M1 to join the Sheffield Steelers for the 2000 season.
Mike Blaisdell – Like Paul Adey, Blaisdell was a servant of the Nottingham Panthers as both a player and a coach but in 2000 after four years he jumped ship for the Sheffield Steelers.
Scott Allison – The 17th pick overall in the 1990 NHL draft, Allison, bucks the trend somewhat by signing for the Nottingham Panthers in 2002 after his fifth season with the Sheffield Steelers.
Rik Brebant – Brebant may be better known for his time spent with the Durham Wasps or the Manchester Storm but in 1994 he joined the Nottingham Panthers. After ending his time with the Storm he joined the London Knights before, in 2000 starting a two-year spell with the Sheffield Steelers.
Dion Darling – After three seasons with Steelers, Darling went south to Nottingham for 2005.
Calle Carlson – Our final player may be the one that Danny Meyers would like to emulate. Carlson had already spent a season on the Panthers blueline before he re-signed for the club in 2001 but he would only spend a year in the city. In 2002 he signed for Steelers. However a year after that Carlson was back on the M1 to join the Panthers for the third time where he stayed for 3 seasons.