So who is the man whose services had to be recruited at the cost of Sheffield Steelers’ title-winning coach Gerad Adams’ job?
The guessing game is underway to unmask the man most likely to be number one on owner Tony Smith’s hit-list.
The joint favourites would be ex Steelers Paul Thompson and Rob Wilson, after all they’ve both been offered the post several times before. Both have contracts at high levels, in Sweden and Germany, respectively. Does that rule them out? Rule nothing out in sport!
But if it isn’t either of those, who is the type of coach that might appeal to a club on the verge of expansion on and off the ice?
While The Star is not suggesting any of these coaches are the candidate Smith has in mind, our list perhaps sheds some light on the possible calibre of man he’d want:
n Gerry Andersson: Former head coach and GM in Sweden. Holds the team management qualification and European experience that Smith is looking for. Also has operated an under 20s side.
n Dave Whistle: He has already made contact with the club and regrets leaving the Steelers a few years ago. Is desperate to get back into coaching.
n Paul Adey: Former Grand Slam Steelers - ironically out of work since being fired in Belfast after winning the league and losing in the cup final and play off final with Belfast. Lives in Nottingham and also has the European experience Smith wants.
n Rick Strachan: Panthers assistant coach who is keen to be the top man again after his spell in Hull. Has applied for the Steelers top job previously.
n Danny Stewart: Former EIHL coach of the year with Newcastle and presently assistant coach in Fife. With the Flyers in a long term relationship with Todd Dutiaume he has to move on if he wants the head coaching position again.
n Corey Neilson: Steelers have got history of signing Panther coaches (Dampier and Blaisdell) who then went on to win with the Steelers. Don’t put money on it though!