While the Spirit played at home Saturday, leading scorer Franklin McIntosh was on the road. Suspended for violating team rules last week, McIntosh returned to the team yesterday.
"I'm ashamed that it had to come under these circumstances, but it was nice to have a rest," McIntosh said. "I did a little bit of traveling. I went to New York."
It was his running off at the mouth after a Nov. 18 game that got McIntosh suspended. McIntosh yelled obscenities at coach Dave MacWilliams in front of his teammates, during and after a victory over the Chicago Power. He was suspended indefinitely and fined by the club. Neither party would discuss how much the fine TTC was or what the reason was for McIntosh's hostility.
MacWilliams speculated that other things were bothering McIntosh, but the player said it was just an outburst that came "in the heat of the battle."
Spirit general manager Drew Forrester considered trading the team's leading scorer, but he and MacWilliams decided against that after the player apologized.
"Franklin had been apologetic. He knows he was in the wrong," MacWilliams said. "He's his own person, very vocal and at times outspoken. He needs to control that."
MacWilliams added that McIntosh's scoring ability -- he's third in the league in scoring with 35 points -- did not hasten his return.
"It's never tough to suspend someone if they're wrong," MacWilliams said. "It doesn't matter if he's the leading scorer in the history of the league or the bottom guy on the totem pole."