Tony Smith’s vision of Sheffield Steelers future - a blueprint seen by only hand-picked few - has no place for Neil Abel in it.
The former Steelers defenceman has been the right hand man to coaching staff at the Arena for five seasons. He is popular amongst the players and has been a loyal servant to the team cause.
But the culling of head coach Gerad Adams on Monday also saw him lose his position.
Neither coach were seen by Smith as the type of leader he needs to instal a new methodology and management style, over an increasingly varied and complex organisation.
He appears to want a modern, communicative executive who will guide the club off and on the ice as they forge closer links with the junior hockey programme, enter European hockey and build a stable dynasty for the future.
Asked by The Star if Smith had considered keeping Adams but appointing an individual alongside him, he replied: “Yes, I did. But then I felt there would be a contradiction between the top dogs.
“Both the newly appointed person, whoever that is, and Gerad would want to be decision-makers, for G it would be his way or the highway. I don’t know whether the Director of Football post always works in football, I considered it for a brief time in hockey, but decided against it.”
While Adams had a two year ‘deal’ with Sheffield, he won’t get a full year’s pay. Instead his contract included a ‘settlement clause.’