Sheffield Steelers star Mike Ramsay has admitted that he was baffled by his coach’s decision to sack his friend and team-mae Colt King.
The axing of King just days before slipping out of the Play Off remains a talking point among fans and players alike.
And Ramsay, who will explore possible options in Europe next year, said of King’s sensational release: “It had an effect on us all, it was the timing of it as much as anything.
“Colt is a great guy and had been a part of our team from the start. For whatever ever reason and we wondered: What really is that going to do?
“You play all year with the guy and if there is a situation going on...well, I just wondered if it could have been dealt with a little differently really. With a week or two left in the season perhaps they could have sat down and talked with the guy. They could have asked him to do things differently and come to an agreement, that is what I think.”
The Canadian right wing admitted he had been stunned by the news.
“I was really shocked when I heard, I had not expected it to happen. I was lost for words as I hadn’t seen it happening at all. It was a shock to the system. It is the sort of thing that happens in America all the time but not over here, as much.
“Colt was a good friend of mine and the brought a lot to the table for us. The intimidation factor, for instance. He is big and had a high skill level.
“It was a tough decision and the coach had to do what he thought was best for the team.”
Ramsay said he did not know whether the sacking had any bearing on the defeat to Hull Stingrays, last Sunday.
But he said: “When Colt is on the ice opposing players can be a little tentative as he was the toughest guy in the league. You always know when he is on the ice, it changes things.”
Asked whether the dismissal had coloured his view about returning to Sheffield Arena, he said: “I am not sure what will happen. We had a great time in Sheffield, we always wanted to explore and travel around the world.
“We will be looking into what we will do next, seeing if there is anything else that will attract us possibly in Europe.”