Sheffield Steelers: Aaron Johnson blow sends Fox back into the player market
Sheffield Steelers are back into the market place looking for a replacement for broken-finger victim Aaron Johnson.
The defenceman will be out for more than a month and coach Aaron Fox spent much of last week contacting agents.
No deal is in the offing, possibly because the players that are available may well be wanting a rest-of-the-year contract rather than a six week opportunity to prove themselves essential to the roster.
Sheffield have now lost two of their three League home games.
They conceded four goals in their loss to Zack Fitzgerald's Glasgow Clan on Sunday and five on the road at Dundee Stars the previous weekend.
While the club has defensive options, which included playing Eric Meland on the back end, Fox appears to have been given the go-ahead to sign a new blue liner.
The coach was irritated that Clan were able to build a 4-0 lead inside 20 minutes on Sunday, his side eventually dipping 4-3.
They had gone behind the night before 1-0 to Guildford Flames but bounced back to win.
But the bigger crowd of the weekend - some 6,048 - had assembled for the Glasgow game and there was disappointment that two points were lost at home to the Clan, as they had been three times last season.
There had been warning signs in the opening match of the 2019-20 campaign, when Nottingham Panthers were 3-0 up at Sheffield Arena in the first 27 minutes.
Fox told The Star it was obviously hard for a team to come back from big deficits and this was a lesson that still needed to be learned.
"We cannot continue to start games that way and expect to always come back and find a way...you've got to go play 60 minutes of hockey and not 51 or 52 minutes," he said.
"We have got to learn from our mistakes here, that are too many times where we have started games a little flat and put ourselves in a hole after the first.
"When you don't get your two points at home there is a lot to complain about; we are in a results-based business here. We need to find a way to get those points especially at home here, tonight (Sunday) wasn't good enough.
"It is great that the boys battled back and did what they did there for the last 40 but we need full 60s and I shouldn't have to come into the room and jump on guys and yell and scream to motivate guys that should be ready from the puck drop."