Friday, October 07, 2005

You, you, and you, you suck

Want yet another sign of how differently this team will be run under Bryan Murray versus how Jacques Martin did things?

BRYAN'S SONG: Murray came to the club with a reputation for being tough and he wasn't pulling any punches yesterday.

He offered some frank assessments of several players after the Senators' less-than-impressive performance against the Leafs:

On winger Chris Neil: "He took a penalty on Eric Lindros with three minutes to go in the game. I made a point in our meeting (yesterday) morning of pointing Chris out on that. I told him (Wednesday) night, 'If you want to play on a good line and do that, you won't be playing on a good line.' It's as simple as that."

On forward Antoine Vermette: "He stayed out on the ice for two minutes one shift. He's not going to get on the ice again if that happens again."

Murray said he forgives mistakes as long as players learn from them.

Like a lot of Murray’s coaching decisions, I’m left wondering if this is really the right move. I’m all for players being held accountable for their mistakes. That’s unquestionably one thing that has to change from the previous regime. Reduce the ice time of guys playing bad, ream ‘em out behind closed doors (ideally not in front of the rest of the team), whatever. But to call them out in the media?

Doesn’t that go against Murray’s “no complaining!” stance? Since he doesn’t want to hear from the players on any issues they have, is it fair for him to do this? Or are we now using the press as a means of communication? Murray complains about his players in the newspaper, “x unsatisfied player” whines to TSN about his lack of playing time. Are they not interacting with each other at all?

These are grown men, and they make enough money that they should be able to handle some criticism, yeah, but I’m not convinced this is the best way to build a relationship. Murray, with this move as well as the others, appears to be establishing a very authoritarian rule over his players. I’ve never been a fan of that method. I’ve always argued that it leads to resentment between the two sides, creating an “us vs. them” mentality. In an era where we’re going to be asking great players to take less money to stick around and remain Senators, is it smart to construct an environment that is hostile? I don’t feel it is.

I hope he proves me wrong.


At 10:58 PM, Blogger James Mirtle said...

You can't argue with what Martin's done so far in Florida... they have yet to be scored on!

At 11:41 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

I'm not surprised. Martin's excellent at taking below average teams and turning them into contenders. It's that next step that he appeared to have trouble with. We'll see how he fares in Florida. With Iron Mike as his boss, I'd doubt his tenure there is even half as long as it was in Ottawa though.


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