Sunday, June 17, 2007

Reports multiply that John Muckler has been fired

Where there's smoke they say, there's fire, so it must be rather smoky in Ottawa these days.

As summer approaches the nation’s capital the weather is getting hot in Ottawa, but apparently not hotter than the seat that John Muckler has been sitting in for five years now. The Ottawa Sun first launched the rumour mill into overdrive with a report that Muckler had been let go on Friday afternoon and that the Senators planned on clearing things up on Sunday.

The 73 year old GM of the Sens refused to comment on the speculation on Saturday, instead referring all that asked to contact the owner about any developments on the employment front.

It makes for an interesting bit of speculation with one week to go before the NHL amateur draft, with Bryan Murray having done the GM thing in the past it’s not beyond belief that Eugene Melnyk, might turn over the reins to Murray as a GM/coach or separate the two positions by moving Murray upstairs and promoting John Paddock. It no doubt was a thought that might have crossed Muckler’s mind when he hired Murray to try and take the Sens to the Stanley Cup.

Ottawa’s disappointing finish in the finals probably meant some changes were on the way, considering that the team has been far too often just a game or two away from breaking through. With head coach Bryan Murray, GM Muckler and Team president Roy Mlakar all on various hot seats.
While it's rare to see a GM fired when his team has managed to make it to the Stanley Cup finals, the reports if proven to be true on Sunday, clearly indicate that there has been some backroom tension percolating through the year. We go back to the start of the season when the calls were out for everyone’s head and owner Eugene Melnyk finally arrived in town to quell the histrionics and declare that everyone was safe.
This time a decision to fire Muckler, Murray or Mlakar could set forward a chain of events to change the franchise direction for a few years to come. It would appear that he will have to make another trip to the capital and set the record straight, with or without severance packages..

Below we provide some of the ruminations on the future of Mr. Muckler.

Johnny's on the spot

No comments: