Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Truitt Let Go!

I was honestly surprised at the news that the Springfield Falcons have fired Jeff Truitt. Sure the Falcons were in last place in the Atlantic Division, but as an outside observer, he was given little time to prove himself at the pro level. I guess with a quality candidate like Rob Daum waiting in the wings, it was easy for the Oilers to pull the trigger.
The firing of Truitt hits home for me personally because of my relationship with the Rosetown Saskatchewan resident. We became quit close in the time he spent in Kelowna, not only as the Rockets assistant coach, but the head skipper when the team won a WHL title in 2005. I know the coaching racket is a volatile one, but seeing a friend axed is never a fun day even if you are not directly involved. I hope to talk to Jeff today and may post some comments if he is willing to go on record.

I spoke to Marc Habscheid about Truitt's dismissal:

"Jeff is a real good friend of mine, and I feel bad for him. We coached a long time together. I not only feel bad for him but his family because they have to pick up and move again, and that's always difficult. He's a strong guy, he's a character guy, it's a rough period but he'll be ok and he will work his way through it."

Current Rockets head coach Ryan Huska had this to say about a colleague of his:

"I think any time a coach gets let go you automatically look at your situation and put yourself in his shoes. I was fortunate enough to work with Jeff for three years here and it's difficulty when you hear someone like him being let go. I think more difficult probably because you think about him moving on and you are forcing your family to move to a different location and all of a sudden you have to move again. I think that's the toughest part."

Here is the Falcons press release:

The Springfield Falcons fired first-year coach Jeff Truitt Tuesday.
The Falcons (16-27-6-1), who lost three straight home games this weekend, are in last place in the Atlantic Division, and have lost seven straight overall.
Truitt will be replaced by former Edmonton Oilers assistant Rob Daum, a scout within the organization.
Daum will be with the Falcons in time for their game at Manchester Wednesday night.


Rocketwatcher said...

Coaches contracts are guaranteed so at least Jeff gets paid to get back on his feet. Edmonton is notoriously cheap however so if they are paying part it won't be a lot. Coaches are hired to be fired.....good guy.....hope he catches on somewhere else....

Jonathan Willis said...

Truitt's problem was less Springfield's record than the fact that prospects were posting lousy numbers. Year over year, returning AHL vets from last season on average are posting numbers 30% lower than the numbers they posted last season.

I've read what you've written about Truitt, and he does seem like a good guy, but with the veterans struggling and rookies like Taylor Chorney getting badly burned I don't know that the Oilers had much choice in the matter. Particularly given that their ECHL affiliate did fire the coach and turned around awfully fast.

It's too bad for Truitt, but I imagine he won't have trouble getting work in junior hockey with his track record.