Fans of the Ottawa Senators who are clamouring for a change at the coaching and/or management level during the club's five-game losing streak are going to have to wait.
Owner Eugene Melnyk spoke to the Ottawa Sun on the weekend and said that both head coach Cory Clouston and general manager Bryan Murray would not be fired before the end of the season.
Both Clouston and Murray have contracts that expire at the end of the 2010-11 campaign, and Melnyk gave no indication what their respective futures would be with the organization.
"At this time, it makes no sense to make managerial or coaching changes," said Melnyk. "We'll let the season play itself out and look forward to building for the future."
Melnyk also stated that that there is a plan being worked out that will see the club get back to contending. While he didn't reveal what the plan was, it seems clear that changes of some kind will be coming.
"There is no one - no one - on this planet that bleeds more than I do for this team, as a fan and as an owner," Melnyk told the Sun. "I am more disappointed in the performance of the team than any fan could imagine. The time has come to make some of the most difficult decisions that an owner can make. Do we need a game-changer? I believe we do. I've lost sleep. Bryan Murray loses sleep. Cory Clouston loses sleep. Everybody who loves this team doesn't sleep well at night."
Melnyk also made it clear that while the team has struggled this season and sits in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, fans shouldn't think that the club does not have a vision for the future.
"Don't think for one second that we're not putting a plan in place that's methodical, calculated and with a lot of forethought to win a Stanley Cup," said Melnyk. "The reason I've been quiet is I've been working on a plan. That plan is now in motion."
According to the Globe and Mail, that plan would include the hiring of a new general manager, with Murray remaining with the club as an advisor. The Globe also reports that brief interviews have already been conducted with potential candidates for the general manager role.
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said he was glad Melnyk spoke out.
"It's good for us in terms of not having to deal with those questions every day, maybe the uncertainty and (now) the focus can be on trying to right the ship. I think it will make a difference," Alfredsson told the media on Sunday.