Meet the next coach of the Ottawa Senators

by Rob Poirier (@RobFeature)

NEWS FLASH: the Ottawa Senators sucked bad this year. How bad? Well, they were fifth-worst overall in terms of goals allowed. They also had the fifth-worst power play. They were fourth-worst in terms of shots per game, and also had the second-worst penalty kill. Oh, right... and they were the ABSOLUTE-WORST in shots against per game. So, all things considered: yeah. They sucked.

But whose fault was it? Was it GM Bryan Murray's fault: the man who traded away both Jason Spezza and Ben Bishop for practically nothing? Was it coach Dave Cameron's fault: the man who played Mark Borowiecki as a forward while benching the team's top goal-scorer? Or was it, perhaps, Matt O'Connor's fault: the man who literally ruined our whole season just as it began.

Well, regardless of whose fault it truly was, a couple of people have already paid the price. In a totally-not-smoke-and-mirrors move, Murray "stepped down" as GM (despite Eugene Melnyk later saying that Murray would have the authority to 'correct' his successor, Pierre Dorion). Cameron was also fired, allegedly to be replaced with the best coach money could buy (despite Melnyk later saying that he wasn't willing to spend much and that coaches don't really matter). So Ottawa's troubles are over, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

Alright, let's just pretend for a second that getting a new coach could actually fix this nightmare. Who's available? What have they accomplished? And how likely is it that they'll get the job? Well, the next coach of the Ottawa Senators is probably listed below... can YOU pick them out??


Pros: Alfredsson is the greatest player to have ever worn a Senators jersey. Throughout his career, he routinely showed that he was a natural teacher, and he enjoys a strong relationship with Ottawa's current players. Since his retirement, Alfredsson has been making calculated moves, and a stint as head coach could be a natural next step.

Cons: Alfredsson doesn't actually have any coaching experience, let alone at the NHL level. If the Senators truly want to put a stop to the revolving door of coaches, they'd be better served to go with a more experienced candidate.

Likelihood: Pretty good. I mean, I can't imagine a scenario where Melnyk drives Alfredsson out of town by offering him too little money...


Pros: Crawford has coached for parts of 15 NHL seasons. He won the both the Jack Adams and its AHL equivalent. He also won a Stanley Cup.

Cons: Crawford committed one of the worst hockey blunders of all time: he didn't use Wayne Gretzky in the shootout in Nagano. And there was also that Steve Moore stuff...

Likelihood: Also pretty good. Crawford has been coaching in Switzerland for the past few years and is probably pretty desperate to get back to the big show. All Melynk would have to do is pay more than they do in the Swiss National League and... oh. Shoot.


Pros: Boudreau is a pretty good coach. So good, in fact, that he's actually currently employed. Boudreau reached 200 career wins faster than any other coach in modern history, and also currently holds the third-highest winning percentage in NHL history (among coaches with at least 100 games of experience).

Cons: Last time Boudreau got fired, someone else snapped him up in just two days, so if he actually does get fired again, competition will probably be fierce. And when there's competition, prices, like... go up. Or something (I did not do well in economics class).

Likelihood: Zero. Melnyk is not going to pay for a coach of this caliber.


Pros: Having coached for parts of 19 NHL seasons, Ken Hitchcock has more experience than anyone else on this list. He's also won the Jack Adams and a Stanley Cup. He is currently coaching the St. Louis Blues, but should they suffer their fouth-straight first-round exit this spring, expect to see him hit the market.

Cons: Hitchcock likes his teams to play a very 'safe' game, and may be more comfortable coaching a defenceman who is content to just hunker down in his own zone and blindly slap the puck outta there. Does LA have an opening?

Likelihood: This is where I reiterate that Melnyk is cheap.


Pros: I honestly didn't know who this was, but I overheard his name so much that I felt obligated to include him. So, a quick search told me that Mike Yo is a Russian rapper. I'm not really sure how people think this qualifies him to be an NHL coach, but I am sure that his debut album, "Rap for honor very strong Putin", was TURNT.

Cons: His sophomore album, "Rap only between man and woman", was significantly less TURNT...

Likelihood: Come on, folks... Melnyk is not going to pay big, golden belt money.


Pros: Made all Ottawa Senators lineup decisions for the past two years.

Cons: Those decisions were very bad.

Likelihood: I can only assume that he and Melnyk are on very bad terms these days, so this one seems unlikely.


Pros: Melnyk's prized horse. Possesses all the qualities that the Senators organization treasures:
- big, strong, local boy
- gritty, hard worker
- knows about being reined in
- will work for peanuts. Well... hay, technically.

Cons: Someone still has to buy the hay, dammit!!

Likelihood: HIGH. I, for one, welcome our new horse overlord. I mean, why go crazy in the business of hockey? I don't think a coach can make that much of a difference. I really don't.

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