Video: The ship has sailed for Sheffield Steelers’ coach Tom Barrasso – there are some regrets but no hard feelings
Tom Barrasso leaves Steelers this week admitting he hadn't been the easiest of coaches to work for - but said he’d enjoyed living and working in Sheffield.
The coach took a below-average squad and got the best out of them - which turned out to be seventh in the league and play off quarter finalists.
Barrasso had wanted more - but accepts he got the last ounce of effort out of a team that is now set for another large-scale transformation.
Some Arena fans admired his steely, single-minded and unyielding style and wanted Tony Smith to re-employ him. But the American told The Star: "I think that ship has sailed.
"I am pretty confident they have got the person they are looking at and I am sure they are moving forward.
"Tony and I had talked about the inevitability of them needing to make a decision - their timeline just doesn't fit with mine. I couldn't commit to returning so they had to move on. There is no hard feelings between us in that regard."
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His 55-game spell at Sheffield will contain more memories for him than the sub-average league programme and last weekend’s 11-8 loss on aggregate to Cardiff Devils.
"It has been great coaching in this Arena, it's been great living in this city, fans have been great to me, players have been great to me they have done the work I have asked of them.
“I know I am not an easy guy to play for. I can be fairly demanding.
"They responded to things that we have talked about throughout the season, I think we probably still underachieved a little to my eye but I am grateful for the effort they have given me."
Barrasso has been hoping now for a move to the KHL which covers teams in Belarus, China, Finland, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Slovakia.