BOSTON — Rumors of impending firings and hirings are flying over the Ottawa Senators like prop planes over an enraged King Kong. What’s true and what’s not is always difficult to decipher.
Today after his team’s morning skate in preparation for the Senators’ evening date with the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden, Ottawa head coach Craig Hartsburg addressed the distractions.
“I think the thing for us really as a coaching staff and players really is to focus on the game, what’s going on on the ice,” he told the assembled media. “That’s the most important thing for all of us. We’ve got a huge game here tonight against Boston, and that’s the only thing that we should be focusing on. Everything else that’s going on around us, we all have to be tough mentally and come to rink and do our jobs – that’s what we’re here for.”
Wednesday Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk felt compelled to issue a statement after rampant rumors had Hartsburg and general manager Bryan Murray being shown the door. The statement read as follows:
“Contrary to what is being reported (yesterday) by the media, I have made no decisions with respect to any personnel changes within the Senators organization. Winning remains our No. 1 priority and there is a collective focus by our management, our coaching staff and our players to deliver this to our fans.
“I, along with our fans, will do nothing but continue to remain fully committed to our Senators and enthusiastically cheer them on to a successful second half of the season.”
MK: Regardless of what Hartsburg or his players say, these types of things always manage to seep into the locker room. This could bode well for Boston.