Sheffield Steelers boss sacrifices Phil Hill to balance the books

Phil Hill - released by Sheffield Steelers

Phil Hill - released by Sheffield Steelers

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Phil Hill - the rugged winger who Sheffield Steelers rescued after being sacked by Cardiff Devils - has now been axed from coach Paul Thompson’s plans to defend the League title, next season.

It’s a bitter blow to 33-year-old Hill, who wore his heart on his sleeve for Sheffield and was a popular member of the squad’s British contingent. Hill can console himself that he helped the side win the Play Offs and League championship during his second spell at the club.

Thompson said: “Sometimes you just have to make tough decisions in this job. I’ve enjoyed working alongside Phil in the past with GB and I know he really enjoyed his time in Sheffield and was keen to return.

“I’ve looked at ways of keeping him on board but I have to make decisions based on the budget available and where I feel that money is best spent.”

Hill first played for the Steelers back in 2006-07 before returning to Cardiff his home town club the following season. While never a prolific points-taker, Hill made a successful return to Sheffield midway through the 2013-14 season scoring in the playoff final against Belfast Giants.

Last season Phil secured his first league championship scoring four goals and 15 points along the way. He played in his fifth Play Off final, a defeat to Coventry Blaze.

“I’ve asked Phil if he would be interested in attending our training camp and possibly playing for us in the Champions Hockey League,” said Thompson.

“You never know what can happen down the line. In an ideal world he would be in my top 12 forwards. But this is the horrible part of the job, when I have to make a tough decision which I feel will be in the best interest of the club going forward.

“Regardless of what the future holds we thank Phil for his efforts with the Steelers.”

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