Tim Spencer - the popular ‘Sergeant’ enforcer in Sheffield Steelers’ Play Off winning team has turned down a chance to re-enrol in this season’s side.
The winger, who also played on defence for Sheffield last season, was one of the first players coach Gerad Adams turned to within hours of releasing Danny Bois.
But the player has a season-long contract with South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL and has committed to seeing the season out at the North Charleston Coliseum.
So the search goes on for Adams, who ended the employment of Bois in a meeting lasting only a few minutes on Tuesday afternoon.
Bois’ dismissal, while a blow for his team-mates, may have a silver lining for Jeff Legue and Jason Hewitt.
The Canadian forward has played ten times since returning from Sheffield Steeldogs scoring three goals and two assists.
But it is possible now he will move up a line and centre Tyler Mosienko and Rob Dowd.
That would mean Hewitt, who has been a tenth forward used on special teams, could be back on a gritty line with Jonathan Phillips and Phil Hill.
Line selection could be complicated though if Colton Fretter is unavailable.
He suffered a neck injury after a hit on the boards from Belfast Giants’ Kevin Westgarth, last Saturday.
Sheffield host Coventry Blaze on Saturday, the Midlands side have just signed James Jorgensen, an ex Steeler.
Ironically, his new side plays Braehead Clan tonight, Jorgensen’s first club in the UK.
Meanwhile Steelers are closed to tying down the dates for the Challenge Cup semi-final two legged affair with Nottingham Panthers.
In a fixture-cluttered month, the most likely dates are thought to be home, February 19 and away, February 24.