Watson's Firing Expected After First Round Exit - 12/9/2003 9:44:14 AM

Sources close to the Chill say that captain David Watson will be fired before next season and replaced by one of the team’s previous leaders.

Rumours began circulating immediately after the 6th-place Chill’s 17-8 quarterfinal loss to the Lite-Sabres. The man Watson replaced as captain, Greg Foran, removed any speculation that he would return to the job, saying he’s perfectly happy “on the pebbled ice”. That leaves team founder Mike Griffiths. “I can neither confirm nor deny that”, Griffiths replied while running to catch a flight to Come-by-the-Middle-of-Nowhere, Newfoundland.

Watson’s one-year tenure saw trouble from the start. Despite promises to bring a “Quality” approach to the team, on Draft Night Watson dealt former scoring champion Tony Joyce to the Slayers in exchange for Craig Mercer. Joyce ended up having his best season with 59 points. One player chose to sit out the year rather than play for Watson, while another left the country half-way through the season. Many of those who were on the roster all year were hit by mysterious illnesses and injuries, which some observers blamed on a lack of a strength and conditioning program. The result was a 2-7-1 record and a second straight last place finish.


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