Former Senator Ray says team took turn for worse years ago Staff

2/2/2009 4:04:38 PM

Former NHL enforcer and 15-year veteran Rob Ray had his say about the Ottawa Senators' situation and believes the team made a turn for the worse two seasons ago.

Ray, who spent two seasons with the Senators from 2002-2004, made the comments to Michael Landsberg on Monday's edition of Off The Record.

"They made a big mistake in Ottawa when they got rid of John Muckler," Ray told OTR on Monday.  “They got rid of a guy who had the respect of the players in the dressing room...there's a lot more going on there than you're seeing."

Ray believes that Muckler, who was replaced as general manager by Bryan Murray after the Sens' Stanley Cup run in 2007, had intangibles that the team still misses.

“[Muckler] made them credible,” Ray said.  “He made them accountable for what they did on the ice, and I don't think anybody has done that (since).”

While Ray says he doesn't have anything against the team's new coach Cory Clouston, he doesn't think that Clouston is experienced enough to bring the solution that is needed behind the Senators' bench.

“You need to have somebody that you can respect, and the only way you can do that is longevity,” Ray told Landsberg.  “I don't think this is the answer - nothing against [Clouston].

“They need to be pushed, and the only way they can be pushed is them respecting you. A guy like [Pat] Quinn or [John] Tortorella can push the buttons, and he's going to get the most out of the players.”