He had labelled Dave Simms “fat and big headed.”
That’s not the sort of abuse you should perhaps indulge in if you were hoping to get a job one day at Simms’ Sheffield Steelers’ club.
Long-time official Simms, as The Star pointed out when the hostile remarks were made two years ago, is not all that overweight, after all. And big-headed or not, he was forgiving enough to welcome one-time accuser Devin DiDiomete into the Arena, this week.
DiDiomete arrives as a replacement for five-game suspended Tyler Mosienko. And after meeting Simms, the Canadian didn’t spare the banter: “I had my picture taken with Simmsy, I’m sure felt that belly rubbing against me!”
DiDiomete claims he’s matured since his time at Cardiff Devils (2012-13) when his outspoken remarks were fired at opponents and fans. “I have played in some good leagues and seen how players conduct themselves to earn a good living” he now says. “I learned from that and made huge strides as a person. I am also a better player than how I performed at Cardiff.”
Ironically, DiDiomete will make his debut for the club at Devils tomorrow.
“For me and Gerad Adams (Steelers coach) it will be an extra motivation to go back to the city where we both were before” he said.
“While it didn’t work out for me there, I thought it was a great city with amazing fans and I have no hard feelings against anybody there. Hopefully I can show them the standard of hockey I am capable of.”
DiDiomete describes his style as “rugged in-your-face”
He said: “I am going to do all I can to win hockey games and make players around me better. I am very grateful for Sheffield to taking me.
“As for the five games, I don’t intend looking any further ahead at this stage, just take on game at a time, showcase myself and see what happens.”
n Steelers may now be able to play Nottingham at the Arena on December 6 after all, following the stabbing of Sheffield boxer Kell Brook this week in Tenerife. Brook was pencilled in for that date.