Friday, June 13, 2008

Sens hire Hartsburg

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today the hiring of Craig Hartsburg as the club's head coach. Hartsburg signed a three-year agreement with the Senators.

Hartsburg, 48, recently completed his fourth consecutive season with the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, posting a 44-18-6 regular-season record before falling to the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL Western Conference final.
>> team release
A pretty interesting choice, really.

Hartsburg's certainly been a success as a junior coach, but after two kicks as an NHL bench boss, he has a career losing record and a bit of a reputation for being unpopular with the pros.

I'm pretty surprised Ottawa didn't go with Kitchener coach Peter DeBoer, but there were apparently some issues getting a contract set out. DeBoer will be picked up somewhere else.

Hartsburg's last NHL coaching gig ended with the Ducks back in December of 2000, and the fans in Anaheim give him mixed reviews.

"He'll be out of job by Xmas," one wrote on the team's official message board.

"He's paid his dues in Juniors, he deserves another shot," said another.

Hartsburg himself is bringing in a bit of an interesting attitude. "It's a good team that needs some structure and some accountability," Hartsburg said on Thursday. "And if it gets that, then it should be a good hockey club."

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At 11:47 a.m., June 13, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Seems like OHL coaches are all the rage this offseason... although Hunter's name didn't come up this year as it had in previous years. It's weird that Bill Peters' name hasn't been mentioned yet (Spokane's head coach).

At 12:06 p.m., June 13, 2008, Blogger Richard-Steven Williams said...

Hartsburg seems another step back to me, looks like the Senators are determined to keep the free falling momentum up over the offseason. Then again watch him prove me wrong

At 3:29 p.m., June 13, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

The really interesting question is, what's the threshold for success? If this team winds up around the 6th seed, is that a step down from their fast start last year, or an improvement over their dismal finish?

At 6:09 p.m., June 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The threshold of success is long playoff runs. Where they finish in the regular season doesn't matter so long as they make the playoffs.

At 8:45 p.m., June 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's really interesting is the number of new guys getting NHL coaching gigs. San Jose, Ottawa and now Florida all going with new coaches (counting Hartsburg as new since he's been out for a while). Those among the recently underemployed ranks seem to be left on the roadside for now.


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