By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "
Todd Gill admitted he was surprised and highly disappointed to be informed that he was being released as the Head Coach of the Owen Sound Attack.....
....so was I.
Maybe I've let personal views cloud my professional perspective, but I like Todd Gill.
No matter what anyone says, the areas you cannot convince me of otherwise, is that Todd Gill was the most professional, most respectful and most accountable coach we've ever had in Owen Sound. And keep in mind I was a big fan, and still am, of Rick Tarasuk.
By the same token, I have a lot of respect for Attack General Manager Dale DeGray and he's certainly earned a high level of trust when it comes to operating the club and doing what he believes is best for the franchise at every turn.
So what happened ?
It wasn't a personality conflict.
Dale DeGray likes Todd Gill.
Todd Gill, after the dismissal, said Dale DeGray is the best boss he's ever worked for.
It wasn't contract related, that volley was shot down immediately on both sides.
Nor was it a fear on DeGray's part, based on recent results, that the Attack might slide out of a playoff position.
So what was it ?
Without going into specifics, DeGray says he saw, or heard and maybe sensed aspects of the operation that weren't positive, and rather than let those issues fester and become bigger issues now and looking far ahead, he made the change.
And in fairness, based on the timing of the dismissal, DeGray obviously felt he had to make the change and make it right NOW.
But to be fair to Todd Gill, I'll say here on his behalf what he won't use in his defence.....
1) the team's star power was gutted at the trade deadline
2) with those big trades departed a large amount of offence and maybe just as significant, a large amount of leadership departed too, players who knew very well what was accepted and what wasn't accepted in the Attack organization
3) at no time in his 61 wins has Todd Gill had above average or experienced netminding. The two youngsters now have terrific potential, I fully believe that, but their best days are still in front of them.
4) there's been a massive a shortfall in the performance of many experienced players at every position.
& 5) there's a number of players who may never be capable of being more than what they are now.
So when dealt this hand, Todd Gill refused to make excuses. It's unfortunate, in my view and his, that he doesn't get the opportunity to play the hand out.
I'm Fred Wallace