Sheffield Steelers: Finnerty ordered to explain idiot jibe

Fight night
Fight night
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RYAN FINNERTY is in hot water over his savaging of three ‘idiot’ officials.

The Sheffield Steelers’ coach blasted referee Tom Darnell, linesmen Liam Sewell and Lee Young after they failed to spot an infraction before Nottingham Panthers’ game-winning goal on Sunday. Finnerty made his remarks in the immediate aftermath of a hot-blooded game and has since apologised.

While his comments have triggered a league disciplinary committee review - he may get fined or suspended - they should be seen in the context of when he said them. The League has already brought in sweeping social media censorship, imposing a “blackout period on game day” running from two hours before face-off and an hour after the game.

If they consider throwing their weight around further in terms of player and coach availability post-games, they could shoot themselves in the foot - as hockey remains a minority sport which needs publicity, both good and not so good.

Head of discipline, Simon Kirkham said the committee will ask the coach to explain his actions - although his mind already seems made up. “It is unacceptable for any coach, player or team management to air their views and criticisms in such a public manner.”

Tonight Steelers are at Dundee for the Challenge Cup quarter final.