Sunday, January 4, 2009
Hartsburg Possibly On The Outs: TSN
Tsn insider Bob McKenzie told the viewing audience after the game tonight that a coaching change is most likely on the way and that Eugene Melnyk is said to be looking for someone with vast experience.
EDIT: There are different interpretations about what McKenzie said. He did not explicitly say that Hartsburg is getting fired but, to me anyways, McKenzie is not one to broadcast just any old rumour but when he does, there is probably something to it. Like all rumours, this should not be taken as gospel.
Cue the Pat Quinn rumours (if Pittsburgh doesn't hire him first after firing Michel Therrien). McKenzie also mentioned Bob Hartley who was also interviewed for the job last summer.
I don't have much time to comment on the loss to New Jersey but you can basically just refer to my column on the loss to the Leafs. ie: the Senators are playing their assess off but they just don't have the personnel to compete due to a primitive, AHL level defense core and terrible goaltending.
In short, this team is toast and it looks like Bryan Murray will try to save his job by axing Craig Hartsburg.
The strange thing is, Murray will be on the side of reason by firing Hartsburg no matter what kind of chaos it creates in the organization. Hartsburg is obviously not the right coach for this team though he hasn't yet reached John Paddock's level of ineffectiveness.
Unfortunately for Murray, he is the one who hired both Paddock and Hartsburg and thought it would be safe to let both of his remaining NHL-level offensive defenseman go at the same time.
My hunch is that Menlyk is still a Murray fan and may only decide to change out the coaching staff. It does sound strange to insinuate that an owner would make what is usually a hockey management decision but there is no way that Murray would can Hartsburg on his own. It's just too embarrasing.
Like I've said before, Hartsburg is subject to the same rules as all coaches in the NHL, whether he's new or not. You win or you're gone, regardless of the roster you're given to work with.
Fair or not, that's life in the NHL.