Sheffield Steelers: ice hockey can be a cold-hearted business

Jonathan Phillips:life has to go on
Jonathan Phillips:life has to go on
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Jonathan Phillips pulls no punches when he describes the effect of a player-sacking on the rest of the Sheffield Steelers’ squad.

“It is always a nightmare” he said, adding “and this was one was a horrible thing to happen.”

The Sheffield skipper was referring to the club’s decision to axe winger Danny Bois, just 15 games into his curtailed assignment with the club.

“Boisy was a great guy, he fitted in right away once he’d arrived” said Phillips. “Everybody bonded with him right away. It is true when people say that a team becomes a group of brothers - it feels like losing a family member when a player is released.

“There are not a lot of words you can say to a team-mate in this situation. But it is the nature of business we are in, players coming and going. It is the single worst thing about our sport.”

Bois is thought to have had a two-week severance deal before heading off to resume his career elsewhere.

While the winger was a disappointment in game-time, there is no doubt he had pedigree...which makes it all the bigger mystery as to why he failed to impress.

“Will he get another team - oh God, yes, he has played in some great leagues and you could tell that in practice” said Phillips. “You always knew where he was going to be on the ice and that’s the sign of a good player. He kept things simple, passed or held on to the puck when he had to. Who knows why things don’t work out for a guy, some times?”

The Sheffield captain says that while Bois got the bullet, it could have been directed at others on the team, which has struggled to string a decent set of results together over December and January.

“Yes, definitely, it could have happened to any of us, I suppose” said the Welshman.

“You cannot pin bad results on one person, it doesn’t work like that. For sure, we all have to recognise that.”

Steelers host Coventry Blaze on Saturday (7pm.)