Futa finds a home with Attack

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

It took a guy from Toronto to make a move to small-town Ontario to find success but Mike Futa has no complaints.

Fired as coach of the St. Michael's Majors in 1999, Futa seems to be much more comfortable as general manager of the Owen Sound Attack.

"A lot of people told me when I was coming here (upon being hired in 2002) that we would never be able to compete or win," Futa, 37, said. "We have a lot left to prove, but we feel that we have built a product here and it's a place kids now want to play."

Hiring Mike Stothers to coach, convincing Bobby Ryan (a native of Collingswood, N.J.,) to report and drafting Stefan Ruzicka were three moves made by Futa in the past that have paid big dividends.

The Attack is 31-10-5-2, with 69 points, and trail only the London Knights (43-4-2-0, 88 points), in the OHL.

"We're probably far ahead of where we thought we would be," Futa said. "It's tough to be having a very good year when (the Knights) are having a great year, but it's really exciting to see some of the fruits being borne now."

KEEPING THE C

Mississauga IceDogs coach Greg Gilbert, who will guide four IceDogs in the game tonight, including Patrick O'Sullivan, said he considered stripping O'Sullivan of the IceDogs captaincy last week after O'Sullivan broke curfew.

"There is no question I mulled it over," Gilbert said. "But the way I looked at it is Patrick has come a long way in the past year and a half, and for one mistake, it was not fair to strip somebody of something he worked so hard for."

DISCUSSING AMERICANS

A Hockey Canada committee consisting of 16 members wrapped up two days of meetings yesterday in Toronto but did not spend a lot of time talking about an earlier proposal that would see major junior teams in Canada limited to two U.S.-born players and one non-North American player. The committee meets again next month and will take its proposals to Hockey Canada's annual general meeting in May.


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