This Time for Real: Craig Hartsburg Named Sens New Head Coach
After much speculation, innuendo, backtracking and investigation, there is certainty, as Craig Hartsburg was named the seventh head coach (don't forget Roger Neilson) in Ottawa Senators modern day history.
Despite the swirl of rumors that have circulated over the past few days, Peter DeBoer was not part of the coaching package as an assistant, as I knew he wouldn't be.
Although Hartsburg wasn't my first choice, I am remaining positive about the hire as he does at least have some NHL experience (unlike DeBoer) and has gained a lot of respect due to his great work with Canada's World Junior team.
I was particularly intrigued by this report in the Ottawa Sun:
One story making the rounds suggests that at one point during his stint with the Hawks, Hartsburg pulled the furniture out of the players' lounge because he wanted to send a message that rink was a place for work.
Although Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson may be correct in his assessment that Ottawa doesn't need a screamer, the team does need someone who will hold the players—even the stars—accountable.
Hartsburg seems to be a coach with a good structure and sense of discipline in place on his teams, which is exactly what the Sens need.
The country club atmosphere has to end. The Sens have some great players, many of whom have grown up together, but the Sens dressing room needs to become a place of work again, not a social club.
Hartsburg seems to have the right personality to install that sense of personal responsibility in the team, without screaming and throwing things.
The Sens need a coach who will implement a strong defensive system, not a stifling trap, but accountability.
As I listen to Hartsburg's press conference, he was stressing the word "accountability"...a great start.
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