Famous Sheffield Steelers' duo say new coach won't take any '˜s***' from anyone!

Tom Barrasso will be an outspoken and intense leader at Sheffield Steelers.

Tony Smith and Tom Barrasso
Tony Smith and Tom Barrasso


That's the view of two of his former Pittsburgh Penguins team-mates, both of whom donned the Sheffield shirt with distinction.

Steelers' old boy Ken Priestlay

Canadians Jamie Leach and Ken Priestlay will be monitoring the American's progress from across the Atlantic, after Barrasso was appointed as Paul Thompson's successor.

The choice of a millionaire, former NHL goalie has stunned many in British hockey.

But Leach believes he is just what the doctor ordered for a Sheffield side which has underperformed in the early part of the season.

"I am not surprised he got into coaching," he told The Star.

"He's a strong personality which you will soon find out. I think he'll get the best out of his team.

"He's a type A alpha dog (a natural born leader who does not need to prove his rank to anyone.)

"When I knew him he wasn't afraid to speak his mind and didn't take s*** from anyone.

"I have no doubts Tom will take this team to a new level. He has a great hockey mind."

As a netminder, Barrasso had few equals in his day said Leach, 49, a power winger at Steelers in 1996-97 before moving on to four years at Nottingham Panthers.

"He was a great goalie; one of the best in the league. He didn't get the credit he deserved.

"He was also a solid teammate to me. He helped me with my shot release. I got the opportunity to shoot a ton of pucks on him."

Priestlay, 51, recalled Barrasso as an intense character adding: "The players should understand that.

"The locker room and practice will be different" he added. "It is exciting for Tommy and for Sheffield. He won't disappoint."

Barrasso arrived in Sheffield yesterday, to start work on re-igniting a season which has seen the team lose six of nine league games.

The husband and father of three won't have a magic wand...but he might bring about a new attitude at a club that has been down in the doldrums.

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