John Armstrong loved his time as a Sheffield Steeler - but he’s hinted at weaknesses in last year’s squad which cost them a chance of silverware.
The centreman played more than 100 games for Sheffield before a Summer move to Medvescak Zagreb in Croatia. He was a EIHL Playoff Champion in 2016-2017 but ended up empty-handed in his final season.
Asked what weaknesses accounted for Sheffield’s failure to win, he implied players should worry less about personal statistics or what had happened in the past.
“I think that the best teams’ players enjoy being at the arena every day and are not worried about losing or not getting a goal or assist. They live in the present.
“They are able to put the past behind them and move on with confidence.
“In these respects, we needed to be better.”
Champions Cardiff Devils, on the other hand, exuded self-belief, he said.
“They played with complete confidence even when behind several goals. They never seemed to be distracted and always pressed forward.
“They played hard all over the ice, and their players clearly bought into their systems and their roles.
“Their defence and forwards controlled the puck in all four corners of the ice. While they proved over the last two years that they were the number one team, they can be beat.”
Armstrong left a message to Steeler supporters who got behind him for two seasons.
“Thank you for all of your support during my time in Sheffield and the well-wishes going forward. I loved playing for Steelers. Stepping onto the ice and looking out into the sea of orange isn’t something I will forget.
“We grew to love the city and its people, which made the decision to leave a very difficult one.
“However, I’ve always wanted to play in the EBEL (Austrian Hockey League) and I am excited about this new challenge and opportunity.”
The No 90 added: “We also want to thank everyone in the Steelers’ organisation for making our time in Sheffield so enjoyable and wish them the best of luck in the coming seasons.”