The burden of being an “extra player” at Sheffield Steelers

Tom Barrasso saying benching Swedish defenceman Jonas Fredrikkson was an example of one of the burdens players and coaches have to face.

By Bob.Westerdale1
Thursday, 21st March 2019, 9:16 am
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 10:23 pm

The ambitious Sutton Sting loanee was available to Barrasso in Steelers' epic struggle with Cardiff Devils last weekend.

And when Ben O'Connor suffered an ankle injury and limped off last Saturday, Fredriksson might have been hoping he would get some ice time to take some of the load off Davey Phillips, Aaron Johnson, Josh McFadden and Ryan Martinelli.

The call never came through with Barrasso suggesting the four remaining defencemen are "all we've got."

The coach said: "Jonas is a good practice player for us, he fills a spot on the ice, helps practice run smoothly, but the game, especially against Cardiff would have been pretty fast for him.

"We have got to be fair to the group, we are trying to win hockey games and get points so we want the four best we have."

The American said he'd never considered putting him out for a shift against Devils.

"He is here, we've signed him as a player he is part of our team, there are nights when he is going to get ice time there are going to be nights when he doesn't.

"That's part of the burden being a player, that's part of the burden of being a coach. You get to decide who gets on the ice.

"That's my job to decide who gives us the best opportunity to win. And I wasn't going to take that away from the other players so it was the four best I had."

In January, the Swede told The Star that he wanted to secure a role in the Elite League - hopefully at Steelers.