Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Muckler Hired By Coyotes ... Spezza Meets The Neighbours

Wayne Gretzky welcomes another ex-Edmonton Oiler to the Coyotes organization in John Muckler.

This is Muckler's first hockey job since being let go by Senators owner Eugene Melnyk at the end of the 2007 season - he was also involved in rumours that he would end up with the Maple Leafs last season.

I still think it was the right decision to let Muckler go in Ottawa but his brief era looks better now than it did only last year. For all of Bryan Murray's expertise and charisma, the undeniable fact is that the team has taken a fall since Muckler left.

Currently, the Senators don't have a real second line centre (to be fair, Muckler had the same problem though he did trade for Mike Comrie), they don't have a proper puck moving defenseman and they don't have a legitimate number one goalie.

A lot of that has to do with the salary cap and Muckler may have done a worse job navigating that same terrain if he had stayed on, but that era may very well turn out to be a nostalgic one for Senators fans.

Bryan Murray has done a great job getting the core players locked up for years to come, but he is still living in the shadow of Muckler until this team turns it around again.


In case anyone missed this "aw-shucks" story about Jason Spezza in today's Ottawa Citizen, it's worth a look.

"According to the local grapevine, children have beaten a path to his front door hoping to catch a glimpse of one of their hockey idols, or, even better, to nab an autograph. And, apparently, Mr. Spezza has charmingly complied in many cases, handing out autographed hockey cards to awe-struck neighbours.

Moved by the sense of excitement about a hockey star in the 'hood, my daughter and her friends spent an afternoon baking and decorating a cake with "Go, Sens, Go" spelled out in red icing. They carefully wrapped the cake and headed to his house with Senators' jerseys slung over their shoulders, hoping for their own brush with fame, not to mention autographs.

Unfortunately, no one answered the door and, unsure what else to do, they left the plastic-wrapped cake with a note on his front step. And then the rain came."

-Ottawa Citizen

1 comment:

Peter said...

To be fair to Murray, the game is a lot different now than it was. And for what Muckler might have done, the Sens farm system is far better today than it was after Muckler left it.