Sheffield Steelers: 'Stop the ****!' - Aaron Fox's blunt message to suspended Michael Davies
Aaron Fox has delivered a blunt message to suspended star Michael Davies, telling him to ‘stop the sh*t.’
The Sheffield Steelers' coach would make no public comment about the severity of the six-game suspension heaped on the forward after his behaviour at the recent Manchester Storm game.
Davies, aggrieved and badly shaken by concussive punches to the back of the head after a clash with Mathieu Gagnon, reacted by wiping blood on to his opponent's displaced glove and dropping it outside the Storm bench, at the Arena.
That was enough for him to receive a whopping suspension.
The centreman will miss more than half of November's League programme, including testing trips to Cardiff Devils and Glasgow Clan.
Since Davies has been on the sidelines, Steelers have won one of six periods.
While Fox won't discuss whether the EIHL punishment fits the crime, he revealed to The Star details of his discussions with Davies and his own views on the significance of bloodshed in contact sports.
The American coach said he'd watched the England v South Africa rugby world cup final on Saturday, in which England forward Billy Vunipola ended with his shirt covered in blood.
"A guy had blood all over his jersey down his his face, on his head, playing for the last 25 minutes of that game and I didn't see any real issue with it and that is at the highest level of one of the biggest sports in this country,” Fox said.
Fox accepted that outsiders like the EIHL Department of Player Safety may think Davies had shown scant respect for the sport of ice hockey.
"I know Michael Davies personally...I had a long talk with Michael; any time you make decisions that will allow other people to decide your fate there is a risk there," he added.
He recalled Davies' two-game ban for throwing a net peg into the crowd after a 5-1 loss at Nottingham Panthers in the second game of the season.
"The peg situation wasn't a great look," Fox said. “Was this the greatest thing in the world that he did with the glove? No."
Fox said he had a "really long conversation" to iron the situation out with the player.
"It really hurts not having Michael Davies in the line up for six games, we are going to miss him, he is a big part of our team, a big part of our power play, any time you lose a guy like that it hurts our team...he hurt our team. So, of course, I am not happy about it."
Both of Davies' ‘bad decisions’ had happened ‘after the fact’ said Fox.
The peg incident had happened 10 minutes after the end of the game.
"Both decisions did not happen in the heat of battle so something has got to click in his head here - he has got to stop the sh*t."
Steelers, who had another forward, Marco Vallerand, thrown out of Sunday's loss at Guidlford Flames, face a trip to Cardiff Devils on Saturday.