Nobody gets excited over the hiring of an assistant coach but Ottawa Senators fans might want to play close attention to Curtis Hunt. He's the guy being put in charge of the Senators defence core and he has a tough, almost herculean task ahead of him.
With rumours flying, Andre Meszaros still unsigned and players like Wade Redden, Mike Commodore and Luke Richardson out the door, no one knows for sure how the Senators defense will look on opening night in Sweden this October.
The only certainty is that they have to improve over last year's debacle.
Welcome to the circus ...errrr....Senators Mr. Hunt.
The Leader-Post out of Regina has a good story on Hunt who, as it turns out, seems to be an emotional and sentimental kinda guy:
"It was a little over four years ago when Curtis Hunt entered the VIP room at the Brandt Centre with a concealed hand nervously gripping one of his most-treasured childhood mementos.
Standing under the glare of the media spotlight, the newly introduced head coach of the WHL's Regina Pats eventually dug into his jacket pocket and revealed the mysterious keepsake -- an errant puck he had caught while attending a Pats game at old Exhibition Stadium way back in 1976.
"I still have that puck in my desk," Hunt said Friday after confirming he had signed a three-year contract to become an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators.
... "He's going to work for an ex-Pat, which can never hurt," noted general manager Brent Parker, referring to Senators counterpart Bryan Murray, a former Pats' head coach. "We're extremely happy for Curtis, but on the other side of the coin we know we're losing a very good coach, a quality person and, for myself personally, a good friend. We didn't always agree on everything but we were always able to have good discussions and see each other's side of things. "
Has anyone noticed that in recent years, Ottawa's assistant coaches are almost never interviewed on team broadcasts or quoted in the beat writer's articles?
Remember the days of the Perry Pearn's, the Andre Savard's and the Craig Ramsey's? Those guys almost always had more to say than head coach Jacques Martin.
Before John Paddock became head coach, I don't think I can remember him ever being in front of a microphone talking to Dean Brown or Gord Wilson. Same with Greg Carvel and Ron Low.
Is it coincidence or a new organizational rule?
Hopefully it's a coincidence because Hunt sounds like a guy who can actually string together an interesting sentence or two.