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It's time for Sens management and ownership to be accountable!

November 29, 2021, 6:19 PM ET [87 Comments]
Kevin Francis
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This past weekend in Ottawa was one of the most memorable Sens fans have had in a long time, but not for the right reasons! Where do you start? Matt Murray "The 6 Millon Dollar Goalie" being put on waivers and has since cleared waivers to be able to report to Belleville in the AHL. Or the fiasco of Brendan Lemieux biting Brady Tkachuk TWICE! Or the hot seat that DJ Smith and Sens GM Pierre Dorion are on, with that seat heating up in a hurry!

The one thing that no hockey fan can say is that the Sens fan base isn't patient. This city is very patient with what the Senators have done since the 2017-18 season in terms of results. When management and ownership said they were going to do a complete rebuild, for the most part, fans were fine with it as the team told the fan base what they were going to do and how they were going to go about it. They explained the process and executed a big part of it very well. Between the scouting staff and coaching staff both in the AHL and NHL, they have drafted some great talent and continue to develop the prospects but that's where it stops. But things have gone off the rails in a few ways when to comes to upper management and the coaching staff of late. It all goes back to the summer when owner Eugene Melnyk stated how Ottawa needed to target at top 6 forward and top 4 defensemen. Prior to that, he stated the Sens would spend to the cap ceiling for unparalleled success for the next 5 years. Well, with the pandemic it hasn't allowed the cap spending to be the way many thought, but neither player that Melnyk said was needed to get to this team contending a playoff spot was addressed in the off-season. The Sens depth has been exposed big time and now they are off to as bad a start as they had last year.

This is where the coaching staff comes into play as they have made the same mistakes this year to start the year, as they did last year. Compounding it are injuries to key players down the middle plus a covid outbreak, but to see the Sens with identical records after 19 games this year as they had last year is very disappointing for the fan base. Particularly when your GM says the rebuild is over. All these remarks by ownership and management have given the fan base false hope and now it's blowing up in their face, worse than they ever could have imagined! Not to mention the losing culture that this young team has dealt with, year in and out the last three years.

Listening to ex-NHLer Jamie Baker on the Sens postgame show over the weekend, he stated the team has hit rock bottom and it's hard to argue with that statement. From the questionable lineup decisions that this coaching staff has made over and over to the GM doing very little to upgrade the team and constantly piling up 4th line players with small trades or waiver wire pickups, the patience is wearing thin with the Sens fan base and you can't blame them.

So this is where I expected recently hired Pierre McGuire to be in front of the media explaining the approach the club is taking with all aspects of the organization. I truly thought with Dorion being uncomfortable at times in front of the local media, that McGuire would strengthen that connection with the management and the fan base. Instead, it has been utter silence by McGuire which is disappointing as Pierre Dorion has remained quiet during much of the season until the trade deadline hits, over the years. The team needs to change that narrative and they need to get out in front of the cameras to address the direction/plans for the team this season. Silence allows too many people to draw up their own conclusions and that usually leads to horrible ticket sales as the narrative remains negative.

All I am asking is for ownership and management to tell the fans of this great city, what direction they are going in and how they are going to fix their mistakes. There is nothing wrong with admitting mistakes, being accountable as a group, and moving on to better success. This fan base has been very accepting of the rebuild but now with the results going in reverse, they need to do something similar to what the Vancouver Canucks did two weeks ago and that was to get out in front of the noise by the media and fans.

Instead, the outside noise is getting quite bad and that is when fans start expecting major changes because they are left twisting in the wind, not knowing the mindset of the organization. When the team has to put on a sale of buying a pair of tickets in November to get a free pair for a game in December tells you how bad tickets sales are looking for the coming home games. Fans are speaking with their wallets now, so stop all of this negativity and get out in front of your fans!

Explain how you're going to upgrade this roster to be able to compete at the NHL level! Let your fans know how some of the youth will gradually be called up to gain NHL experience as this season is lost, so there are no expectations for this team. So why not continue to look ahead to next season. How far away are some of the key prospects from competing at the NHL level? Explain what happened with Matt Murray and how it got to the point that the team's 3rd highest-paid player got put on waivers. Why do slow unproductive veterans continually get ice time over the youth that is clearly better than those veterans? Answer these questions and many more, lay out what you hope to accomplish the rest of the season as a team and management group.

Get it done Pierre.......and I mean both of you, Dorion and McGuire, sit together at a press conference and get this train back on the rails!! It's the least you can do for a fanbase that embraced the rebuild over the last few years, now it's your time to be accountable, give this city hope once again!

Thanks for reading.
Kevin
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