Did the “brutal” sacking of three Sheffield Steelers’ imports help or hinder the team?

Gone: Justin Buzzeo
Gone: Justin Buzzeo

Sheffield Steelers’ coach admits he doesn't know if his team's results have improved since the "brutal" sacking of Justin Buzzeo, Stefan Della Rovere and Matt Climie.

The import trio was released after a 6-1 hiding at Dundee Stars in January, a reverse which had followed two previous losses.

Since then Steelers have taken to the ice on 17 occasions - winning nine and losing eight - and are seventh in an 11-team league.

It's been a modest response since the unsparing firing of the two forwards and goaltender, brought in from overseas..

Asked if, in hindsight, if it had been the right decision to to dismiss the Steeler personnel, he replied: "The group of players we have and have had is the group I coach. It is time poorly spent dwelling on things that did not happen. 

"Every day I move forward with my players, working to improve.

Gone: Stefan Della Rovere. Pic by Hayley Roberts

Gone: Stefan Della Rovere. Pic by Hayley Roberts

"A change was needed in the dressing room based on our performance at the time Climie, Della Rovere and Buzzeo were released. 

"I don’t know that we have been greatly improved from a wins and losses stand point.

"But, the attention to our unacceptable play was brought home to the players in a brutal fashion by the release of their teammates."

So while the sackings did initially perk the team up - they won the next two games - they then lost the next two straight afterwards: one of them a 6-0 home loss to Glasgow Clan.

Gone: Matt Climie

Gone: Matt Climie

And since then results have hovered around 50-50.

Ultimately, Barrasso has made clear he is not looking backwards, only at the forthcoming challenges.

And this coming weekend is certainly one of strategic importance.

Back to back opposition Fife Flyers are very much in the dogfight, with Steelers, for a play off spot.