Tag Archives: Paul Thompson

Winning start for Paul Thompson after DEL debut

Paul Thompson has a had a tough few months, but had a fantastic night in his coaching debut for German side the Schwenninger Wild Wings, helping the DEL side snap a four game losing streak.

With the Wild Wings playing host to Red Bull Munich, Thompson could hardly have asked for a tougher test in his first outing with his new side, but his team managed to take the win but needed an extra session to get it done.

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Former Steelers Head Coach lands DEL position

Former Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Steelers Head Coach Paul Thompson is back in hockey employment. Today Deutsche Eishockey League (DEL) side Schwenninger Wild Wings announced they had appointed him in succession to Canadian Pat Cortina who was relieved of his Head Coach duties towards the back end of last month.

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The Week From Hell: A Steelers Weekly Perspective

Time again to get those creative writing juices flowing once more and to write about the Steelers. It has certainly been a week and a bit over here in Steelerland, a week that again won’t be remembered for the right reasons. Remember though, these are my own personal views and not that of the Sheffield Steelers.

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Paul Thompson leaves the Steelers

News and Opinons follow.

Paul Thompson has left the Sheffield Steelers for “personal reasons.”
The club today released a short statement announcing the departure of the polarising GM/Head Coach and that assistant Mark Matheson will take over coaching duties until a permanent replacement for Thompson is found.

The club also thanked Thompson for his hard work and effort.

Despite his successes within the game, Thompson remained an unpopular figure among some sections of the Steelers fanbase – and these sections grew more vocal after a poor start to the season despite a summer rebuild.

Things appeared to have possibly turned around with a rousing 3-2 victory over arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers on Saturday, but the Steelers capitulated 5-1 away to Coventry on Sunday.

Venturing into opinion corner here: Thompson can point to the trophies he has won in the past; as well as to bad luck in losing players he undoubtedly would have wanted to keep (O’Connor, Armstrong, Neiley) and some bad luck with injuries to key players.

However, it was time for him to go – and he probably should have gone at the end of last year; when there were already questions from some sections of the support about the team’s competitiveness, recruitment hit-rate and some surprising selection choices.
Instead, he went all in on overhauling the roster with promises of catching up with Cardiff, but the results have been less than spectacular. In this regard Thompson ultimately fell on his own sword.

It became quickly apparent that the gulf between the two teams has never been wider, with many recruitment decisions highly questionable (not just the Rupert Brothers, let go after a mere six games); and while it certainly takes time to gel a new team it rarely felt like any progress was being made at all – the bright spark of the Nottingham result instantly doused in Coventry.
Thompson also appeared to be doing anything but engender a sense of team spirit or to raise confidence with many post-match attacks on players – many of which he himself had just recruited – which only looped back to questions over recruitment strategy and man management as confidence levels seemed to drop to new lows. Results were not only poor but more concerns were raised about tactics and predictable play, to the increasing frustration of fans.

These factors only caused the portion of anti-Thompson fans in the audience to grow and to become more vocal.

Thompson won the league in his first season in Sheffield (with a roster mostly assembled by his predecessor) but being four years into a three year plan, with the gap to the champions widening and the home form worsening and the noise amongst anti-Thompson fans growing; today’s news, to me, feels like a good thing.

Thompson’s effort can never be questioned and some of the personal abuse publicly levelled his way was vile, but any questions about his ability to continue leading this team were valid. The team were ultimately worse year-on-year during his reign, too many new signings came to nothing and this year the performances just weren’t good enough – or even entertaining enough; and his departure had a certain ring of inevitability about it. If the team has serious aspirations of challenging the dominance of the Devils, it needs a new person at the helm.

For further reading, our own Mark Duell’s personal opinion piece from September 21st pretty much sums up my feelings: Here.

Paul Thompson: A personal critique

With two wins from their first six games, the new look Sheffield Steelers are struggling to find their cohesion. Matt and Ryan Rupert have been let go as Head Coach/General Manager Paul Thompson tries to find that consistency. He’s also split the fanbase with an ever increasing majority getting fed up with him, but there are still some who think he needs time to turn the Steelers fortunes around. Here are my thoughts, and they are mine alone.

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Post Game with Thompson & Desbiens

So the game didn’t quite go our way… It’s been the best performance by the Steelers against the Blaze all season. I mean, I know I wasn’t the only one sat in the away end hoping for a small reprieve. If only, for one more goal from the Steelers. The men who made us proud to wear our jerseys.

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