Different coaches have different strengths. Different coaches implement different systems and different styles of play.
And of course, there is the notion that the better players a coach has, the better a coach he will be.
Regardless and having said all of that, I wonder if there is an Ontario Hockey League coach who has adapted better to his players and who reacts quicker during the course of a game than Owen Sound Attack bench boss Todd Gill.
This is Gill’s second go-round as an OHL coach following a previous three-year gig with the Kingston Frontenacs.
His three-season stint in Kingston came to an unfortunate end in the 2014 playoffs when Kingston gave up a 3-0 series lead to the Peterborough Petes and lost Game 7 in overtime. Shortly after, Gill was fired by Frontenacs general manager Doug Gilmour.
Gill then spent the next three seasons as an assistant coach in the American Hockey League before Owen Sound general manager Dale DeGray came calling last summer after previous coach Ryan McGill left the Attack for a pro job.
A veteran of more than 1,100 games in the National Hockey League as a hard-rock defenseman who could throw punches with both hands, the 52-year old Gill has more than shown himself to be a high-end, with-the-flow, head coach in his return to the OHL with Owen Sound.
(An OHL alum as a player, Gill was a feared, high-scoring defender with the Windsor Spitfires during his junior days.)
At any rate, watching Gill at work behind the Owen Sound bench during the second round, OHL Western Conference playoff series against the high-octane, player-in-motion, top-ranked, puck-possessing Soo Greyhounds, has been a treat.
From the outset of the series, Gill’s abilities as a coach were very evident. Not only is the Attack a very tough team to play against but its quick transition game and ability to force turnovers and create scoring chances at high speed is rather noticeable.
Kudos to Gill for a job very well done.
And kudos to aforementioned Attack GM Dale DeGray for going out and getting Gill and hiring him as a dark-horse candidate last summer.
PHOTO: Owen Sound Attack coach Todd Gill.