Well, no more. Hartsburg has had enough. After hearing Bryan Murray criticize his passive defensive system – that produced the lowest scoring team in the League – for the second time in the past week, Hartsburg candidly went on the record in an interview with Ken Warren of the Citizen. Rather than purse his lips and blow smoke up Cory Clouston’s ass, Hartsy used the opportunity to say this:
“When I got fired, Bryan (Murray) told me, ‘The direction of the team is not where I wanted it to be and we’re at the point where we have to embarrass the players. I hope it embarrasses the players because this is the last chance. If they don’t (respond), we have to blow the team up.’ They’ve put a lot of money into a lot of players. I’m sure that’s the message they’ve conveyed to the players. It’s the last kind of wake-up call for a group of players.” ~ Craig Hartsburg, The Ottawa Citizen
I’d love to know whether Melnyk told Murray to blow himself up after he read this quote.
Just when Senators I was starting to forget that embarassing Euge press conference, Hartsburg gives us some insight into what happens behind the scenes. The Sens were this close to being blown up. That extended win streak under Clouston might have saved a number of players their jobs. However, who’s to say what could happen if Ottawa plays uninspired hockey down the stretch. Like Don Brennan mentioned on OTP, the Sens have a ridiculously difficult schedule to finish the season. A 1-5 or 0-6 record is completely possible. For the defeatists who want a higher pick, this would be awesome. However, for those who’d like to see some roster upheaval, it’ll be interesting to see how that affects the directional philosophy of the organization.
So while author, Ken Warren, went on to mention that Hartsburg has no sour grapes towards the organization, his comments do contrast with the Euge’s bravado and if anything, it makes the Euge’s next “A tweak, one player here, one player there” next press conference must-see. If they tank the season, it’ll be just another hilarious storyline in an otherwise forgettable year.