For Ottawa Senators head coach Cory Clouston, escaping talk of the Dany Heatley issue can be difficult at the best of times. While he took part in a conference call to announce the newest member of his coaching staff Thursday, most of the talk ventured in the direction of Heatley and possible friction between the player and coach.
The call was intended to announce the hiring of Brad Lauer as an assistant coach, but Clouston was quickly put on the spot regarding Heatley.
Clouston made it clear that he had yet to talk to the superstar player. He added that nothing had changed in terms of the situation and that he was surprised at Heatley’s request to be traded from the Senators.
As we well know, Heatley vetoed a trade that would have sent him to the Edmonton Oilers and continues to remain in limbo with the Senators. GM Bryan Murray insists that he’s still a Senator and seems to think there’s still a spot for him on the team, but many fans wonder how Heatley could possibly walk into that locker room given all he’s put the team through.
As for coach Clouston, he knows that he’s just got to start moving forward with the rest of the organization. “I really don’t know what else to say,” he continued. “(But) whatever cards we’re dealt, I’ll work with them. That’s with or without Dany.”
Clouston was excited about the addition of Alex Kovalev and is ready to put him to work to help move things forward from the Heatley situation that has haunted the franchise for the past while. “My first reaction was I was just very excited for the organization,” Clouston said. “Alex brings something into the mix who can change a game in and of itself. Obviously, there’s been a lot of negativity surrounding the organization (over Heatley). It’s like a breath of fresh air.”
In terms of Clouston’s new addition to the coaching staff, Lauer will be a nice fit. He’s an NHL veteran, having played 16 pro seasons, and he should mesh well with the team’s other assistant, Greg Carvel.
Luke Richardson, who retired last season, will also chip in with the Senators on a part-time basis and will help the defence.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.