One time world's best goalie is new Sheffield Steelers' coach

New home for a new Steleers coach
New home for a new Steleers coach

Sheffield Steelers have hired a new coach - and told him he has a big job on his hands to convert the present team into a winning side.

Tom Barrasso takes over as new team boss, from Italian side Asiago of the Alpine league.

He was briefed about the team's short-comings and while a quick fix is unlikely, he will do his best to get the best out of the squad...and fast.

The American father of three should be on the bench at Nottingham Panthers on Saturday.

Steelers' owner Tony Smith said: “He knows the issues we have at the present time and that he has a big job on his hands. Tom has my assurances that the entire club will be here to support and assist him in turning our season around.”

The 53-year-old American had insisted that a clause should be written into his Asiago contract to be released if an opportunity elsewhere arose, and he took it.
Barrasso was on the same Pittsburgh Penguins team that Ken Priestlay was on in 1991-92.

He was once considered the world's best goaltender, has two Stanley Cup rings and represented the US at the Olympics.

The 6ft 3ins former goalie, who entered the NHL as an 18 year old, going straight from high school to the Buffalo Sabres, has been coaching for 11 years.

Smith said “This has been an extensive search to find the right man. Ourselves and our agents have scoured the best leagues in world to find the right coach and fit for our hockey club. In Tom Barrasso, we believe we have that man.

“Of course, Tom’s resume as a player is very impressive but it’s what we believe he will bring to our organisation as a Head Coach that attracted us.

“I love the fact that despite achieving what he has already done he is still so hungry to come to Sheffield and lead our club."

The capture of Barrasso is a huge bonus for Steeler goalies Jackson Whistle and Brad Day - they are both keen on developing their game.