Sheffield Steelers have been reluctantly forced to end the career of winger Pascal Morency.
His continuing problems with concussion led to two meetings with the club this week, where hard questions had to be asked about his medical situation and future in a contact sport. The Star went into some detail earlier this week about a suffered a life-threatening skull fracture three years ago.
That situation hadn’t stop the club employing him this Summer. But a concussion on his debut for Sheffield, followed by an absence until last Saturday where he suffered similar problems, threw the decision to maintain his services under sharper possible focus.
It is highly unlikely any future team would take a gamble on Morency, 32. He is intelligent enough not to take his own gamble with his safety and is looking for new opportunities outside sport.
Adams said: “This is a very unfortunate situation. We’d looked forward to Pascal being an important player for us but circumstances acted against us all. Pascal is as disappointed as we are that our relationship can’t continue but it is in his best interest, certainly from a health point of view that he goes back home to fully recover.”
Steelers immediately intensified their search for a replacement - something which doubtless has been going on in the background for weeks.
Morency said: “The Steelers took me in as part of their family right away. There is something special with this team. It is a class act organisation with the best fans in the league. I’ll miss the boys and will keep some special people as friends.”
Meanwhile Steelers have been doing their homework on Nottingham Panthers stand-in goalie Mattias Modig, who will face them tonight. Adams said: “It is a question of making suggestions to our players having looked at an individual goalie’s style. For instance Coventry have a huge goalie (Brian Stewart; 6ft 5in, 201lbs) who comes out and challenges so you want him to go east to west really. This Swedish guy has played in extremely good leagues.”