1. The inevitable happened, and Cory Clouston got fired.
Though I feel for the guy, I was thinking “another year, ashmuther year” in terms of what the Sens were going to do with him moving forward. I would have shrugged my shoulders to a one year extension, eaten my feelings to anything more, and am ultimately pleased with a firing. I would have thought it a token re-signing due almost entirely to the terrible number of coaches whove held the post the last few seasons (though some people choose to pad those stats by counting Bryan Murray as two coaches). Still bad numbers no matter how you slice it but, whatever, better to fire someone doing a lackluster job than keep them on to save face. I think Clouston is a developing NHL quality coach and I respect him for taking his abilities to the next level so quickly. I do stress that he is a developing coach and lacked a lot of assets that I think he will get better at over time like…I don’t know…communication. It got Carbonneau canned in MTL a couple years back and has made a TSN panelist out of many others. Spezza was pretty open that there were communication problems from day one and I for one am completely not surprised to hear that. I think part of coach’s job is to be hard on players and treat them like they are breaking curfew at a Bantam tournament in Trenton, New Jersey when the time comes but also to know that some of the team are like 35 or older and need something other than a bag skate to motivate them. In other words, a coach needs to be great manager of people and personalities. Clouston will get better at that but like so many other developing/struggling players of recent times I again feel, I’m rooting for you but go develop somewhere else and let Ottawa simply move forward. Good luck Clousty and may the power of the pumpkin spice tie/shirt combo compel you! Also, no pressure on finding the perfect replacement, Bry Bry. Did I say no pressure? Sorry scratch that…tons and tons of pressure, homie. Gelp. I am hoping for Peter DeBoer, because he is an NHL coach. Kick Muller seems like he’d be a coup and I wouldn’t be mad at Kevin Dineen up in this peace. Dave Cameron seems a little too Hartsberg 2.0 for me. Oy, it will probably be Cameron if The Euge gets his way.
Weirder were the comments by assistant coach Greg Carvel:
Speaking of being forthright, Greg “Ice Cream Cakes” Carvel was RIGHT PISSED wasn’t he? I would be too if I was running a PK operating at an astounding 90% clip SINCE FEBRUARY on a lottomax team full of AHL dudes and STILL got fired. Actually, this guys’ firing bothered me quite a bit. He was blamed for Ottawa’s putrid power play last season but it was my understanding that he was in charge of PK not PP. I could be wrong but either way, this is a guy I am as nervous about getting replaced by the right person as much as I am Clouston. I think they threw the baby out with the gaghebbsghthrs on this one.
2. Murray extended for three years.
Aight. This thing. So, Anderson gets four years, Murray gets THREE years at age 68…I should have applied for a job at whatever (likely evil) pharmaceutical company Melnyk owned because he sure likes securing peoples futures. Okay, so I agree that when you REALLY look at Murray’s record he has maybe made 2 boneheaded moves for every amazing move. I actually don’t know if that’s unimpressive for a GM. Anyway, I think a lot of his boneheaded actually can I just say boners? Boners, can be attributed to ye olde philosophy of “lets keep this team competitive/ try to sell tickets in the wake of the Heatley debacle.” So this comes down to two sorts of moves. 1. Signing/Letting walk of high priced aging veterans at the deadline 2. Signing of high priced aging (exclusively Russian) veterans in the off season. I think this is a practice that is going to be largely eschewed going forward. There have been hiccups along the way including the resigning Phillips and long term signing of Anderson. I for one don’t really see these as the worst things. Murray seems to be in a much different mindset (maybe given more freedom to build the team his way?) and will likely play on his strength of smart, under the radar drafting and build up the team going forward. That’s not to say there wont be an FA signing to come. He has indicated that he’s looking for a scoring winger (maybe he’s already found it with Butler?). He was also looking for a new goaltender and that’s already off the list. I think Murray’s contract is a year longer than I would have even OVERestimated. Though with much of the essentially overpaid aging core dealt, some vets left on to mentor, improved goaltending, some very exciting young pups in the fold and something like 5 picks in the first two rounds, I think its hard to deny that Murray has done an exceptional amount in a very VERY short period of time. All he has to do now if find a coach to match.
3. Melnyk in the media.
Ugh, this guy… I have to say when you see other teams with B.S. cheapskate / half hearted ownership (even George Gilette sold the Habs…because..he hates..money?) you start to appreciate that The Euge seems all up IN owning this team…but seriously, I think the guy’s been taking a few too many of Melnyk Apothecary Inc. brand Insufferablex pills. You start to think that Toronto media has him on the radio all the time to build up ammo for all those years of plan the parade jokes we’ve (deservedly) hurled at them. It was very refreshing to hear him back on earth talking about rebuilds and lowered expectations and quick turnarounds. Look, as resident glassy eyed optimist, even I was not “buckling the fuck up” to going anywhere other than a POSSIBLE 8th place finish and prompt smiting just like last season.
4. DRAFT LOTTERY TONIGHT
-A glut of exciting non-draft college pick ups
-5 picks in two rounds
-Lehner developing in Bingo
-Cowan and Rundblad, Weircioch coming into camp this fall and apparently Silferberg too…
Nope, we didn’t get top three. There will be no Omega Karlsson (Larsson) or Ted Nugent-Sir Anthony Hopkins. All we can do is sit and watch and trust that Bry-Bry picks the best player available and hope we get another gem like Karlsson (taken 15th by the way!) Happy watching!
Did you know that Ottawa has selected Bryan Berard, Alexandre Daigle, Alexei Yashin, and Radek Bonk with top 3 picks; all of whom are younger than Daniel Alfredsson (58thround/4031st overall) and none of whom play in the NHL?
Also, next time you feel like a dork saying Scotia Bank Place: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KFC_Yum!_Center