Firing Day in Ottawa ... Steelers win Grey Cup ... David Booth Still Sick ... Richard Zednik Leaves Early
TORONTO -- First off, congrats to the Pittsburgh, Ontario, Steelers for winning the Grey Cup last night in Saskatchewan. It was an exciting game, the Steelers pulling it out in the fourth quarter over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Too bad it was missed by so many in the states.
-- Great halftime show, eh? Love the Tragically Hip.
-- Bad day (season) in Ottawa, with the Senators firing coach Craig Hartsburg after 48 games at the helm of what can be politely called a 'sinking ship.' The Sens are horrible, and have been for a while.
Hartsburg has long been rumored to be on the hot seat as the Senators have been one of the biggest under-achieving teams in the league. The Sens are now 13th in the Eastern Conference, 14 points away from the final playoff spot.
And this team was playing for the Stanley Cup how long ago? Could it have been just two seasons ago? Egad.
Of course, this could have been our very own Pete DeBoer being fired today. He interviewed for the Ottawa job over the summer, traveling to Barbados to meet with owner Eugene Melnyk just days before being introduced as Florida's 10th coach in franchise history.
The two jobs are completely different, as evidenced by Ottawa's quick hook with Hartsburg. Not as much pressure down here, especially with all those veteran players up in Ottawa. I'm not saying DeBoer wouldn't have had success with the Sens, and who knows, he just might have. But that's a bad scene up there and it's pretty obvious Pete made the right choice over the summer -- although a lot of people called him crazy for leaving hockey-mad Canada for South Florida.
Seems to have worked out OK.
''You feel for Craig, he's a good man, a friend of mine and a very good coach,'' said DeBoer. ''A lot of this job is circumstance. I know having had talks with Craig when we played, he was doing everything he could to get that team turned around. It's unfortunate. You never like to see that. It's a tough business.''
-- The Sens promoted coach Cory Clouston from AHL Binghamton (quick: which hockey city is worse than Kanata, Ontario? Binghamton, N.Y.).
Pete DeBoer played in the minors with Clouston's brother Shaun in Milwaukee.
-- Quick hit: Panthers are 10-5-1 against teams below them in the Eastern Conference standings.
-- David Booth was out sick again today, one of the trainers making him a large to-go bag filled with water and Gatorade. Richard Zednik left practice early with back spasms, but he's expected to play Tuesday against the Leaves.