INJURED Steeler Mike Ramsay believes his personal misfortune may have contributed to a resurgence of form and team-spirt at the Sheffield club.
Ramsay is out for around six weeks with a broken finger and his spot has gone to American winger RG Flath, who is now competing with the other imports - including Ramsay - for a full time spot.
Club owner Tony Smith believes that competition has lit a fire under several players, who are now playing for their jobs.
And Ramsay said of Flath: “He’s an honest player who works really hard every night.
“He wants to be successful here, I don’t think he just wants to play a couple of months and then go home.
“He wants to earn a spot and stay. It is a good thing for the rest of the team because it keeps guys on their toes. It makes people the feel they have to be accounted for and work hard every day - makes you realise your job is not just on a platter for you.
“In this game you kind of learn that nobody’s job is secure, especially in professional hockey... it can be very cut throat at times.
“If a guy comes in and earns a spot then so be it. You can’t do anything about it or worry about it.”
Ramsay has played against Flath in the north American leagues and says: “He is a pretty big guy; I actually didn’t realise how big he was. He is a strong kid with a hard shot and he is going to bring that every day. He is not afraid to go into corners.”
Steelers are on a nine-game winning league streak and hope to protect that next weekend, at Nottingham Panthers.
On Sunday, they are back at iceSheffield for the Challenge Cup visit of Hull Stingrays.