Gerad Adams says he bears no ill will to Sheffield Steelers despite his controversial exit from the club back in 2015.
Adams was sacked as head coach after guiding the Steelers to the Elite League title, with Paul Thompson appointed as his replacement.
The Canadian also delivered the play-off crown in 2013/14, but Adams believes the experience has made him a stronger person.
“I took over a team low on moral and team spirit and turned it around to winning the play-offs within weeks – the expectation was to just make the weekend,” said Adams.
“The next year I was given the task of winning the league and I played my part as the Steelers did that. I was then released from my coaching duty.
“I look back with no anger or ill will. Sometimes when people have different rules and communicate on different levels than you do, things go wrong.
“I shared my philosophy towards coaching and my view on people skills. People within the Steelers didn’t appreciate my views.
“I believe in open, honest, and instant communication. I was asked to do jobs – I accomplished those jobs.
“Without going through that ordeal, I wouldn’t be where I am today – I’m a better person today than I was then.”
Adams originally came to Britain in 2001, enjoying a brief spell with Edinburgh Capitals. He recalls his time in the Scottish capital with fondness.
“I still remember all the names and faces – Craig Wilson, Laurie Dunbar, Ross Hay, Jason Lafreniere, Rob Trumbley, Mikko Koivunoro, Rollie Carlson and many others.
“We would’ve won the title if we all stayed. We were good for that spell – it was a really fun time.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for the Caps and their fans. It was a small group, but a good group of genuine people.
“During that time, I was being messed around a lot by Newcastle and was in the end not paid money I was owed.
“When speaking to people and seeking advice I was told a lot of lies. The only person who was upfront and honest was Scott Neil.
“I’ve never forgotten the conversation I had with Scott when he explained how things would work out for me and Newcastle. He was right.
“He might be one of the cheapest people on the planet, but Scott has always been one of the most honest.”
Adams went on to play for the Steelers for two seasons, ahead of what was to be a nine-year love affair with Cardiff Devils both as a player and a coach.
He was unable to deliver a league title during his time in charge of the club, but he believes they are now ready to finally secure their first EIHL championship.
“I love the Devils fans, they know that – I didn’t want to leave, ever,” added Adams.
“They are a great group and I am so happy the club is where it is today. They deserve every minute of joy right now.”
Since his departure from the Steelers, Adams has been working in a managerial capacity for the Royal Mail and is also involved in two businesses set up by his wife.
He says he’s enjoying the challenge of working in a different industry, but believes the new skills he’s developed would serve him well if an opportunity to return to the sport came up.
“I’ve learned so much being away from the game from improved communication skills, empathy and understanding people, to being more process driven,” said Adams.
“When I coached I was more end goal orientated and didn’t slow down to the entire process – I would be a much-improved coach.
“I love my current job – love it. And it’s refreshing to know I won’t be fired when I deliver – no pun intended!”