Something had to give, but I think that Bryan Murray and Eugene Melynk made the wrong decision. Craig Hartsburg was hired at the beginning of this season and was meant to symbolize a fresh start for the club. The Sens knew they were taking a risk on Hartsburg, and he was not hired from within. Hartsburg was not haunted by the previous failings of the club, right? Think again.
This season, for which the team was reimagined and re-tooled, is beginning to look at lot like last season, with one notable exception--less wins. When John Paddock was fired mid-way through last season, we were led to believe that he was the problem: the big line was overworked and the goalie situation was mismanaged. Well, look at where the Sens are now and I think we can examine the variables and see that the players are the problem. Why does it take two coaches to establish this fact?
Another factor, I believe, is that Bryan Murray thinks he's a better coach than those he's hired. Apparently, the man is far from reluctant to take over the coaching duties. After all, the reason why Murray came to Ottawa was to be the coach, only after Melynk fired Muckler was Murray convinced to pick up the GM responsibilities.
Sigh. The team is going no where, and the coaching switches are only serving to reenforce the worst aspects of the organization: scapegoating and hesitation. Arrogant comments from Melnyk last week serve only to illustrate how Murray and Melnyk are missing the point with this firing. Martin Gerber had three years of failure in Ottawa before being sent away, why did Hartsburg only get 48 games to prove himself? (Kind of off-topic, but I can't help but make this connection.)
This is a desperate move from Murray, and the variables are continually being narrow from this point in the season onward. If it's not the coaching, and it's not the players, then who's left? Murray's painted himself into a corner, and it's only a matter of time before the firing squad turns to him.