SHEFFIELD Steelers have fired Canadian winger Colt King on the eve of the Play Offs.
The club is not making public exactly why they have taken the action.
The 29-year-old had looked lethargic in Sunday’s loss to Braehead Clan and he admitted to The Star that night that the team’s performance was influenced by the fact it had been a “dead rubber” game.
It is unlikely his release is entirely about form though - he has scored seven goals and 10 assists in the last 14 matches. He is Steelers third top scorer and their toughest player. That seems to indicate coach Ryan Finnerty is upset about the player’s attitude, work ethic or general influence.
He could have dropped King from the line-up, as he has with others, but preferred to take the risk of isolating him completely - even though injuries could crop up.
Ironically, it means Neil Clark will return to the squad this weekend for the two play off games against Hull Stingrays.
Clark has been dropped more this season than any other player.
On Sunday, King told The Star he thought coming second in the league had not been ideal, but had represented a “pretty successful campaign.”
He also said he would be considering his playing options next season.
“As of now I haven’t thought about what I’ll be doing, my goal is to win the Play Offs. When everything is said and done I’ll focus on it then” he said.
The club says King has been paid in full and had suffered no financial loss. They said the parting of the ways came after a meeting between player and coach yesterday, before practice. The sacking, while a huge risk for Finnerty, could ignite a new wave of passion in the side ahead of the weekend’s games.