Craig Hartsburg:"Accountability"

Mary MimiCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2008

Since Craig Hartsburg was first hired as the head coach of the Sens, He has been preaching the word "Accountability" as his mantra.

The ex-Coach of the Chicago Blackhawks said,"Accountability is something I expect on and off the ice, it has to do with conditioning, a team-first attitude and work ethic. Those are the areas we want to hold the players accountable in. If they come to camp ready to work and they 're playing with passion, then they're doing what they're supposed to and that's what I mean by accountability."

also, he realizes it will take a while for a team to get in sync.But as long as the Sens players are exhibiting the attitude he had mentioned and pushing each other and themselves to do so, Hartsburg will be satisfied.

One thing the 49-year-old coach learned from coaching in the past years si to be patient. "the more you coach and the older you get, the more you learn and gain experience, and one major lesson I think I've learned is to be patient, you have to let things evolve and if you're doing what you set out to do on a daily basis, then you will get to where you set out to be. There's going to be mistakes on ice every game. But as long as players uphold those standards I mentioned, that's what accountability is."

Hartsburg will also look for his core of veterans to lead the way. that's why he was thrilled with the recent signing of Jason Smith.

"We've been happy with all of our moves thus far and certainly Jason Smith fits into that leadership role that we will need a strong core of," Hartsburg said of the former Edmonton Oilers' captain."Jason has proven to be a great leader on and off the ice, and that will go right along with that sense of accountability that we're trying to build here."

"You have to play hard to win. It doesn't matter how much you have...if you don't fight hard to protect and gain your space on the ice, you won't win."

Hartsburg knew that working with professionals is different from working with junior players, but he still believes his approach of patience and hard work can work at the professional level and help achieve his goal.

"The NHL is different in that the players are already at the highest level, so there's  less teaching involved, but there're still similarities because no matter what level you're at, there's always room for improvement."Hartsburg said. "To improve and achieve your goals, you need to preach patience and motivate each other. Like I said before, if we're all doing that---coach and players---then it goes back to what I'm saying (that) we're holding each other accountable, and that's what we plan to do."

Hartsburg is excited to work with this skilled group, he knows the skill will be important too.