North American ice hockey competition: who gets the Sheffield Steelers’ hot seat?

Tom Barrasso and Tony Smith
Tom Barrasso and Tony Smith

It's Canada v America in the battle of who will become Steelers' next coach.  

The present Sheffield incumbent Tom Barrasso, from Massachusetts, will leave at the end of the season and the short-list of his successor is split down the middle...two are American, two are Canadian, The Star understands.

The club has been saying for a while that a key factor in the choice of their new coach will be his potential success in recruiting new imports. The four have "varying degrees of experience" in coaching, says Steelers.

It is not known whether the club had a definitive meeting to clear the air over Barrasso's impending exit. But the moment he made clear that he wanted to wait until the end of the EIHL season and check out possible career moves to Russia or Europe, Steelers' high command began their search for a replacement.

They felt they could not afford to hang about.

None of the four short-listed have EIHL experience, so it will be a new broom in charge.

But whoever gets the job, they'll have earned it on the basis of their contacts-list.

After assembling a fresh team, the new coach will then have the little matter of catching up with the likes of league leading Cardiff Devils..currently 26 points ahead of them in the standings.