Monday, June 18, 2007

Big news day: Muckler out, Murray up, McAmmond sticks around

It's been made official: John Muckler was fired on Friday, June 15, 2007. Bryan Murray was hired to fill the General Manager position on Monday, June 18, 2007. There will be a number of interviews, no doubt, to fill the now-vacant Head Coaching position. Names being thrown around include head coach of the AHL's Rochester Americans Randy Cunneyworth, former New Jersey Devils head coach Pat Burns, and current Ottawa Senators Assistant Coaches John Paddock and Greg Carvel. Also announced is that there will be someone hired soon in either a Director of Player Personnel or Assistant General Manager, possibility that Bryan Murray's nephew Tim Murray will be the man there.

In other news, Muckler apparently signed a two-year contract extension for Dean McAmmond, and Murray spoke with M.C. 'Ammer's agent that his contract will be honoured. Terms to be disclosed, and it's still 'all but finalized', but retaining D-Mac is a another big plus to start the Senators' off-season.

Other big possibilities could come in free-agent signings. According to the Team 1200, Murray is looking to make the team bigger, more physical, and add veteran(s). Hopefully that doesn't mean Gary Roberts is coming to town--Murray seems to be interested, though--but other names have been mentioned. The Alexei Yashin rumour was probably (and hopefully) just Mark Gandler trying to make news, he's not the kind of size or experience the Senators need. Brendan Shanahan is unrestricted and could be huge to the first or second lines--good size, experience, leadership, and scoring ability--depending what our future head coach decides to do with the CASH line. Comign off a season where he made $4M, though, Shanny may be a little pricey. From Carolina, Ray Whitney is a good name; he's no Shanahan, but he's a good leader, not quite as big as Shanahan, but is cheaper a few years younger, and can still get points. Martin Gelinas has been mentioned in the past, but his consistency is an issue (although his big-game play may be enough to counter that).

Anyway, speculation is moot, we'll see what happens. My pick would be Shanahan is there's enough money, and if not I'd go with Whitney, but we'll see what Murray decides on.
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