Thursday, February 12, 2009

Murray next to go: Paddock

According to TSN, John Paddock has suggested that Bryan Murray hasn't assembled a team good enough to compete in the NHL, and is the next in line to be fired. His words, according to the report:
"I think now he's next in line," Paddock told the Courier-Post. "We were 14 games over .500 when I was fired. They're seven under now. Somebody needs to take responsibility for that. Whether the coaches he hired and fired were good or not, they're his players and they're either not playing good or can't play, one or the other."


"The players are not very good, that's the problem," Paddock told the Courier-Post.
I have two questions: First off, after having moved on to a new AHL coaching job and likely trying to leave his Senators' experience in the past, why the hell is Paddock choosing this time to speak out on the issues of the team? It doesn't seem to make any sense.

And secondly, is there one person who doesn't think Murray is next on the firing list, if things don't get better? I think that's pretty much the only thing people agree on with regards the Ottawa Senators right now. Whether or not he'll get to take the team through the next draft is one thing, but owner Eugene Melnyk certainly has laid his expectations at the feet of Murray, and it's up to Murray to make it work.

And one final point, about his statement that the players aren't very good: It's still early, but Cory Clouston has gotten them to play pretty well. This group is, most would agree, even less skilled than the team that Paddock had to work with, and the same one Craig Hartsburg had to work with. So maybe it's not only that the players--as a 20-man group--aren't good enough, but maybe Paddock, and Hartsburg, hadn't motivated them properly to play within a system that works to their strengths.

We will see how things go, certainly, but the timing and content of these comments don't reflect well on Paddock.
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