The Ottawa Senators have wasted little time in releasing their coaches.
After Saturday’s 3-1 loss in Boston Saturday, GM Bryan Murray relieve head coach Cory Clouston and his assistants, Brad Lauer and Greg Carvel, of their duties.
While they were all in the last year of their deals, Murray felt it was time to move in a new direction. By doing this right after the final game of the season and not a week or two later, the belief is Murray wanted the players to leave on a positive note, especially after the way they played in the final month. The coach who created a negative situation this season around the Sens was not going to be the one who was going to be allowed to send the players off for the summer.
It was common knowledge that many players did not see eye to eye with Clouston. It was also said the head coach did not have a great relationship with his GM. Having Clouston perform the end of the year exit meetings with each individual player would not have been an ideal situation.
Clouston never really held players accountable which led to discontent. He was not willing to accept advice, nor did he do what was asked of him by upper management. The word around the rink was Murray wanted to release the coach mid season. Had he done that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk wanted his GM to return to the bench, something Murray did not want to do. So the waiting game was played for the final few months, all the while knowing how it would end.
In all fairness, the Sens played well over the last month and a half. Adding a goalie, some young and motivated players and a healthy Jason Spezza all contributed to a winning record down the stretch. But credit also has to go towards Clouston for getting the most out of the players recently.
The focus will now turn to another coaching search. Murray has hired three during his stay in the front office; this will be his last hire.
In the past, Murray has gone with coaches who have little or no experience as an NHL head coach. Perhaps it is time for an NHL experienced coach to coach NHL players because trying the junior coach or AHL route has not gone well for the Senators.