Farrish, Gordon Swap Benches

By Michael Krieg
©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser

The Louisiana IceGators and the Pensacola Ice Pilots begin a weekend series tonight that will start to determine how the clubs stack up in the newly-aligned South Division of the American Conference.

But all the talk has been centered around Todd Gordon vs. Dave Farrish. The two coaches swapped posts during the offseason.

Farrish left Louisiana in the offseason after four seasons, including a record-breaking 56-win campaign in 2001-02. A couple of days after resigning from his post in Louisiana, Farrish took the head coaching position in Pensacola — replacing Gordon.

Louisiana immediately hired Gordon, who turned a struggling Pensacola franchise into a perennial playoff team. In fact, the Ice Pilots qualified for the postseason all three years under Gordon.

There was plenty of controversy surrounding the offseason moves between the coaches, but both would rather talk about the game instead of the offseason.

“It’s exciting for me personally (to go back),” Gordon said. “I’ve got a lot of friends there and it would be nice to see them, but that can’t be a distraction. This is a game where we have to go in there and win. Pensacola probably has one of the deepest rosters in the league. They’ve got a lot of speed. This will be a great challenge for us.”

Saturday night, Farrish will make his return to the Cajundome. The IceGators are handing out bald wigs to the first 1,500 fans to mark the return of their former coach.

“You know, I really haven’t thought that far ahead,” Farrish said. “I’ve been taking it day-to-day. I haven’t thought that far ahead, but I know it’s going to be exciting for Todd to come back. I miss all the people and fans (in Louisiana). I really don’t know what to say.”

Both coaches said once the puck is dropped, it’s down to business.

“The game’s bigger than that,” Gordon said. “It’s going to be nice going there and it’s probably going to be nice for Dave coming back here Saturday night. There’s a little extra bone in my body that would love to win there Friday and I’m sure there’s the same for him.

“But it’s never about us. It should never be about the coaches. I’m excited just to go in there. They’re a great organization and they treated me well. I wish them all the best, but we’re going in there to win the hockey game. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.

“They’re the enemies now, but I don’t have any bitter or harsh feelings towards the organization.”

“Gordo’s not the type of guy that holds grudges,” Louisiana’s Wes Mason said. “All he’s interested in is the development process of this hockey team and making us better, because it’s a process. Once the puck hits the ice you forget about all that anyway. Your just out there doing your job trying to win. Hopefully, the puck goes in for us and does the things we want it to do.”

©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser