The axe falls on three Sheffield Steelers’ imports

Justin Buzzeo playing against Cardiff
Justin Buzzeo playing against Cardiff

Sheffield Steelers sent out a ruthless signal today by cutting three imports from the roster.

Goaltender Matt Climie and forwards Justin Buzzeo and Stefan Della Rovere were all told this morning their services were no longer required.

Stefan Della Rovere at Guildford

Stefan Della Rovere at Guildford

Losing three players from any EIHL squad is a drastic step. But the club will be hoping to find replacements quickly, one perhaps before the weekend.

Fans may feel that the three selected for the cut were unlucky - there are plenty of others who have under-performed as the team slipped to next to bottom.

It will certainly be a career low-point for the trio.

Buzzeo is the team's sixth top scorer and fifth top assist-provider. His removal is perhaps the biggest surprise, although coach Tom Barrasso had previously expresses his personal sadness when he sat Della Rovere out as a healthy scratch in one game - as he'd coached him at a previous club.

Climie was brought in by Tom Barrasso, but he pulled him in out of action his last game, at Dundee Stars, and the coach has clearly lost patience with him.

He had an 88.89% save ratio compared to Jackson Whistle's 89.39%.

Today's move follows the decision not to keep loanee d-man Jonas Fredriksson, who played for 10 games.

It means 10 players, in all, have come into Steelers's squad this year and then left, for one reason or another.

If you add the long term injuries to Eric Neiley and Davey Phillips, that represents some serious disruption during the 37 league games the beleagured club have played so far (W17 L20.)

Steelers official David Simms labelled the team as "vanilla" last weekend - meaning bland.

Now the leadership have reacted - but they too will be judged, if they get this radical decision wrong.

A club spokesman said: “We would like to go on record and thank all three players for their service to the Steelers and wish them well in their future ventures.

“We are in the process of recruiting new personnel and we are hopeful of some positive news shortly with at least one new player in our line-up for the weekend games against Milton Keynes Lightning.”