Sheffield Steelers: the runners and riders for top job

Gerad Adams - in his Sheffield Steelers days

Gerad Adams - in his Sheffield Steelers days

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GUNNAR Svensson - one of the top agents in world ice hockey - thinks he has just the man to replace Ryan Finnerty at Sheffield Steelers.

Svensson, who represents Detroit Red Wings skipper Henrik Zetterberg among others, has sent the CVs of two people he believes can bring trophies back to the Arena.

His candidates are among a fast-increasing list on owner Tony Smith’s desk.

While nobody wants their names made public certain assumptions are hardening among the Sheffield fan base.

The Star understands that Paul Gardner, coach at Braehead Clan, approached Sheffield last season before eventually moving to Scotland. He is thought to be amenable to a move, as is Cardiff Devils’ boss Gerad Adams, a former Steelers’ defenceman.

My personal choice of those coaches already in this country would be Belfast Giants’ American coach Doug Christiansen; although he is a little absorbed in other matters today.

Giants take on Coventry Blaze - the team that knocked Steelers out of the Play Offs and effectively rubber-stamped the end of Finnerty’s Sheffield career - this evening in the post-season semi-finals.

If Giants win that and beat Nottingham Panthers or Cardiff in the final, any future approach to the American, if the club were to consider it, may be pointless.

Tony Hand, boss at Manchester Phoenix and Great Britain, has been ruled out of the equation.

Finnerty, meanwhile, is considering his options, including a possibility of coaching back in his Canadian homeland.

He tweeted: “It’s been a tough day but I’m truly overwhelmed and humbled by the support we have received from fans across the League. Thank you.

“It’s been a great ride for me and my family. All the best in the future guys.”

Meanwhile NHL wing Tom Sestito has tried to add a positive spin to the Steelers’ campaign. He posted: “Congrats to Steelers on a great season; made some great friends there.”

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