Tom Barrasso says he and the existing Steelers squad must share the culpability for the loss of jobs suffered by three Sheffield Steelers’ players.
The coach released forwards Stefan Della Rovere and Justin Buzzeo as well as former NHL goalie Matt Climie on Tuesday.
It was his way of illustrating the poor team form could not continue.
Barrasso told The Star it "had been a very difficult day....good young men lost their livelihood.
"The remaining players and I bear responsibility for the decisions that occurred” he said.
”We have let each other down.
“There was both sadness and a little anger from the players involved.
“I totally understand the frustration they feel."
Barrasso said Buzzeo - who could be a target for Orlando Solar Bears - and Della Rovere were "not victims of their production or expectations.
"As a team we have underperformed to a standard that we had started to establish.
"Our recent results made a change inevitable. They are the victims of our failure as a group."
Climie - who Barrasso brought in unexpectedly in October - had not been "able to find consistent form" he said.
"We gave him the opportunity to earn the number one position. Unfortunately, he was not able to produce a crucial stop at a time the team needed it. Goaltending is a difficult occupation."
Steelers are confident they will have a new player in the line-up for the weekend games against Milton Keynes Lightning.
"If it does not materialize, we have what we have" said Barrasso, who added that his decision on the three departing players had "got the teams full attention. I believe the group will respond to the challenge."