Marc Lefebvre says he will be his own man as assistant coach at Sheffield Steelers - and will never be a mere “puppet” to the team boss.
The former left winger has been recruited as right-hand man by head coach Doug Christiansen, a figure he has worked with before.
But Lefebvre says that while he will loyally support Christansen, he will have both his own say and a specific role at the club.
“Doug and I will work as a partnership. He will make the final decision, ofcourse” says the 31-year-old.
“But I am not here just to push pucks around and be a puppet. I will have my own role and my own goals.
“On the bench, I will be looking after the defensive side of things.
“In the last few weeks I have had a lot of input and worked some crazy 19 hour days, including working on recruitment.”
Lefebvre, cut his teeth coaching the Dayton Demonz in the low-profile US Federal Hockey League, a division which ended last season with just four teams.
“I had no management experience and was thrown in the deep end there” he recalls. “There was me and a 23-year-old woman straight out of University running the whole team” said the one-time Coventry Blaze man, who has also played in France and Holland.
“It was a challenge there but so is going back to Sheffield, to the place where I had two great years playing (two trophies under Mike Blaisdell) and the team that gave me a start in pro hockey.”
Lefebvre is ambitious. “This job is a platform for me, I see it as a progression in my career. Everybody, ultimately, would like a job in the NHL but maybe I could end up being Sheffield Steelers head coach one day.”
Lefebvre, whose nickname is Favor, iced at Sheffield from 2003-5, playing alongside the likes of Ron Shudra, Dion Darling, Mark Dutiaume and, briefly, Neil Abel, who has been a Steeler bench coaching assistant over the past few years.
Abel, like Rod Sarich, has been told that the “door is open” to continue contact with the club.