Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Front office shuffle (but not the big one)

Ottawa Senators lifer Randy Lee was recently promoted from conditioning coach to director of player development, a fitting promotion for a guy who seems to have done a swell job at keeping the Sens in shape. Physically, at least. Hopefully Adam "The New Guy" Douglas is as much of a hardass as Tyler Arnason suggested (although not directly) Lee was.

The promotion of Douglas means that Lee will be able to focus more on keeping track of players' development, and where they can be slotted in the organizations' depth chart. Good, whatever, just do what you have to do.

More importantly, though, is that this might have something to do with an announcement about the hiring head and assistant coaches. I might be reaching at straws, but often times front-office work is done in groups. So we'll see how the hiring process goes.

Obviously, Ron Wilson is out of the picture (and just as well). Suggestions that GM Bryan Murray made on the Team 1200 a couple of weeks ago were that he wasn't speaking with anyone who hadn't been fired yet, so John Tortorella and recently-relieved Marc Crawford are doubtful. That leaves a few names, but often mentioned as the front-runner is Bob Hartley.

Hartley's got a few things going for him. He's a local product, which is something Bryan Murray has shown he likes. He's a hardass, and Murray said he was looking for someone who'd keep his players accountable. He's bilingual (I think?), which is a bonus, but remains important in this city. And he might be friendly with Dany Heatley. And he's won a Stanley Cup.

Over at Black Aces, Jeremy Milks brought up the possibility--thanks to speculation from Bruce Garrioch--that Murray may be looking to hire two guys, maybe Hartley as a head coach and either Peter DeBoer or Craig Hartsburg as his assistant coach. I'm not sure about this for two reasons:
  1. Why top coaching prospects DeBoer and Hartsburg would accept an assistant's position in the buyer's market that is head coaching in the NHL right now.
  2. Why Hartley would want to work in front of a pretty big name, if it meant he might be training the guy who would take his job in a couple of years.
But it's all speculation at this point. I hope something happens soon, though, I'm getting bored.
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