Few people are qualified to judge Sheffield Steelers boss Paul Thompson on his coaching and team-building expertise.
But Steve Carpenter certainly is.
‘Carps’ was a mid-ice hit specialist with Steelers in season 2001-1. But it was his time at Coventry Blaze, where Thompson coached with distinction from 2000-14, which gave him the opportunity to watch the team boss construct winning teams. “Thommo has proven what a good coach he is but his real talent is recruiting the right group of players” he said on Blaze’s website. “He always was able to find gems, keep a strong core and then add to it.”
Carpenter, who fractured his neck 2014 playing hockey, was also happy to compare Thompson with legendary Sheffield and Nottingham Panthers coach Mike Blaisdell.
They were: “Very different- Thommo is a very technical based guy and builds a lot of systems into his teams. Blazer was more of an old school guy where he put people in good situations for their skill-set, then let them play. They were both ‘players coaches though,’ they both cared about their players. They were approachable and liked to have a good laugh which made you want to play for harder them!”