DARRELL HAY’S return for a second season at Sheffield Steelers has been secured – only this time he will be on bench duty as head coach Paul Thompson’s assistant.
The 35-year-old defenceman impressed as part of Gerad Adams’s Elite League-winning team last season, scoring six goals in 27 points in 65 games.
But during an extensive recruitment process to find his assistant, Adams’s replacement has opted for the least experienced candidate in Hay – whose father Don was former head coach in the NHL at Arizona in the klate 90s.
Hay will be registered as a player, but Thompson hopes he won’t be called into action.
“In an ideal world I don’t want to see Darrell in the line up,” said Thompson. “His benefits to this hockey club going forward are working with the players and other staff members and his day will be busy enough.
“We are changing things here and I needed a right-hand man who understood the changes rand could help me deliver them.”
“Darrell understands the game and has his own ideas which I like. I think we will make a good team.
“Finding the right guy has been a detailed process and Darrell, in fact, had the least experience of them all. But when I put the phone down after our final conversation I turned to my wife and said ‘that’s our guy’.
“Darrell is a very intelligent hockey man, so he should be considering the blood line of coaches he comes from. He is excited to be involved in the adjustments we are making.”