It is widely believed Cory Clouston's days as head coach of the Ottawa Senators are numbered. However, Senators general manager Bryan Murray refuses to discuss whether a coaching change is being considered or imminent.
The veteran GM says he's unsure about his own future with the organization and admits retirement at the end of the season is a possibility, which is why at the start of the year, he and Senators owner Eugene Melnyk agreed on a one-year extension.
Murray believes the organization can be turned around and is willing to consider almost anything. With the exception of defenceman Erik Karlsson, Murray says there hasn't been one Senators player who has played up to his potential.
Young hopefuls such as Nick Foligno and Peter Regin haven't developed as quickly as the team had hoped, while injuries to key players like Jason Spezza, Pascal LeClaire and Philip Kuba have had an obvious impact. The loss of Anton Volchenkov to free agency created a defensive hole Ottawa hasn't been able to fill, while $16-million free agent Sergei Gonchar has struggled, and according to Murray, is really frustrated by his own poor play.
Murray says the Senators poor work ethic and inferior compete level is what disappoints him most. The indecision on the ice he sees his players struggle with, combined with their inability to score goals, has contributed to what Murray describes as a "terrible offensive season."
Murray says he understands it's a winning business and knows he himself is on the hot seat, and he intends on making any and all adjustments to turn the franchise around.