Gladiators coach Jeff Pyle on the transaction: "I'm gonna put it to you as simple as I can -- we had a difference of philosophies, we had a meeting, and we thought the best thing was he go home and prepare for next year. That's as politically correct as I can tell you right now. Bottom line -- I coach the way I coach and I'm not changing for anybody."
I asked if he would take the player back next year if it came to it, and he said "I don't think we'll ever have to cross that bridge."
If I know Jeff, and in this particular area I think I do, you won't ever see Painchaud playing for the Gladiators again. A few years ago Pyle and Adam Smyth were on the outs, and Smyth was assigned to the UHL the next year. The two players and their situations are different, but the outcomes would likely be similar.
Painchaud has one year remaining on his entry-level deal with the Thrashers.
For more insight, I would also point back to a post made in early March when Painchaud was assigned to the Gladiators:
Pyle said he thought it was the first time he had seen Painchaud play two games back to back of good hockey. The two met when Painchaud got here, and Pyle told him basically "this is it, me or you," meaning your way or my way. Painchaud chose to work hard.
For me, this whole story goes back to his junior days. I interviewed his coach, Shawn Camp, of Sarnia in early 2006. He said that Painchaud was finally figuring out what it would take to become a pro -- but he didn't look very convincing saying it even then.