SACKED: Sheffield Steelers axe coach

Doug Christiansen
Doug Christiansen
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Sheffield Steelers sacked Doug Christiansen this afternoon.

He was dismissed less than half-way thorugh his two year contract at the Arena.

The head coach, who arrived from Belfast Giants last year, paid the ultimate price for last night’s 5-3 home defeat by big rivals Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup semi final, which came on top of some farily average form in the League.

The 35-year-old American clearly did not present owner Tony Smith with the formula he wants.

Or what many of the Sheffield fans wanted.

It is deemed essential that Steelers ice an entertaining, dynamic side which competes for all titles, if the club is to thrive in the sporting market place, a time when people are feeling the pinch.

Steelers have lost too many matches this season, especially at home, and have come up short against the team Christiansen left last season.

The dramatic move comes only a couple of days after his coaching assistant Marc Lefebvre accepted the post as head coach at Coventry Blaze.

Christiansen, a former AHL winger, has been working in the UK since arriving at Edinburgh Capitals in 2007.

His manner is that of a polite, serious, academic-minded intellectual.

Smith clearly thinks that he has not been able to get the best out of the side he put together, and has changed, since the start of the campaign.

Sheffield, under his stewardship, was a defensive-minded team, so it will be interesting to see if players perform with more freedom as they head towards the Play Offs.

Milwaukee-born Christiansen, who is the Great Britain coach ice hockey coach, was ‘frustrated and furious’ at the manner of the loss on Wednesday.

He said players turned their brains off for the last goal.

Some of the players may have to question their own form, now it appears to have been an influence in Christiansen’s professional demise.

Steve Goertzen, the team captain, now has a temporary but daunting task of playing for and running the team until a new man is found to run the side until the end of the season.