Comment: Another changing of the guard for Clan
The decision of the Glasgow clan to part with head coach Zack Fitzgerald is one of those where you are not entirely surprised but disappointed at the same time time.
'Fitzy' is one of the most popular players the clan has ever known in its 10 years of history, so the announcement that it will not come back in will be one that will disappoint many people.
As a player, you will always want to play with a guy like him. Even as a fan, you would want to wear the same colors because if there is a definition of the team, it is Zack Fitzgerald and he has always had his back .
The transition to the bench turned out to be somewhat more difficult for him, as the results of the Clan showed compared to what was 2019/20. He had a great start, matching a club record of eight consecutive wins, but after that it got more and more difficult.
This is where the lack of surprise comes with this decision and who knows, if an injury had not robbed the Clan of certain key members of their team at different times, it could have been another story. Perhaps this kind of luck could serve as the basis for an argument to stay. This is all it is now. A "what if".
Bob Westerdale, the writer Sheffield Star, in an interview I did with him for the podcast Clan Chat told me: "If a player cannot not get up to play for Zack Fitzgerald, so they shouldn't be playing the game. "
That says it all for me about Fitzy and imagining the kind of guy he was in training and in the locker room. Like Sheffield Steelers for whom he also played, can testify, he was a motivator and a positive influence. More importantly, a leader.
There is no doubt that he will be missed by the Clan as he seeks to open a new era and his attitude towards the game is contagious for all those who have been in his company, myself included.
Post-match interviews were never a problem and Zack always spoke and was honest about his team's performance, but there were times when you detect that immediately after a loss there was some self-doubt.
By that I mean in terms of everything he could have done differently in the game, which is probably not the best time to think that way.
But he always tried to improve and despite this disappointment, over time, he is the kind of guy who will consider his experience positively.
Where is the clan from here? In my opinion, I would like to see another coach last beyond a campaign, as I am sure many others do. I thought Fitzy was this man, but it won't be, so thoughts are now turning to who can be on the team.
As we still isolate ourselves during this Covid-19 pandemic, there is still so much that is not clear, as if we would even have a season to wait, but through the prism of Glasgow Clan who are they turning to now?
Like Fitzgerald, is there a player ready to leave the ice and take his first job with the Clan, whether in the Clan team or elsewhere in the League 39; elite ?
Or will we see a whole new face coming from abroad? Personally, I am inclined to favor experience and I think that someone like Thompson would be an outstanding candidate in this regard and would check many boxes, if that was the clan's inclination. .
His record stands out, not just in the UK and his coaching experience in Sweden, Denmark and Germany means that someone who has the wealth to offer a new club may be looking to go in a new direction.
For now – and on a personal note – it has been a pleasure to work with Zack and I hope he takes this disappointment away and blossoms elsewhere. What I can say with great certainty is that we will miss him in British hockey circles.