CHAD Huttel had looked forward to being well and truly hated this weekend - and misses it now it’s not happening.
The Sheffield Steelers defenceman had hoped to make the team and play in the Play Off finals at Nottingham this weekend.
Sadly, Sheffield’s defeat to Hull Stingrays put paid to that.
Steelers are hated by Panthers fans, who will be rubbing their in opponent’s absence today with the Steelers fans who had previously secured tickets and are still making the trip.
Huttel said he’d have enjoyed being on the receiving end of that crowd abuse, as it sharpened his game.
He said: “These days everybody is so nice to each other, so it’s kind of fun going to places like that and having everybody yelling and screaming at you. It’s a neat experience.”
Huttel was dropped for the Stingrays defeat, his place going to Nick Duff. He sat in the press gantry, powerless to influence the last game.
Of the decision to play Duff, he said: “Me and Nick were competitors, I’m sure he wasn’t happy to have been left out (previously) and I wasn’t but what can you do? Finner put out the team he thought could win. For Finner it was a good situation to be in: good players competing to play. For me, though, it was definitely not what I had in mind.”
Asked about the sacking of Colt King days before the Play Offs, Huttel said: “It was definitely a shock, but it was the way we were moving with things. I’m glad I don’t have to make that kind of decision.”
King flew home to north America yesterday, tweeting this message: “Really going to miss the boys, was lucky to be apart of such a great group of guys.”