Bryan Murray and Cory Clouston’s jobs are safe for at least the rest of the season, as the team’s management made a statement confirming this once and for all to the media, ending speculation and Clouston Watch in Ottawa. Bryan Murray, not one known to mince words, has stated that the team can basically decide whether or not to back up their coach as best as possible, as he is the only one they’ve got, or they can sit and watch from the sidelines. Good for him. It’s nice to know that he can still spell it out for them like the team’s a group of schoolchildren- and it may be what they need.
Cory Clouston, for his part, did speak openly about the story and admitted that it may have hurt a little. Knowing how little Clouston ever speaks about anything which is not purely factual, this was a revelation of Oprah-like proportions. Does Cory have (gasp!) feelings? Real ones? It appears that behind that jaw clutching, arms crossing facade, Clouston is actually a real person who might care what people think of him once in awhile.
It can’t be easy to be Cory. Consider the fact that he spends his time coaching, cajoling, threatening and disciplining a group of overgrown men who are all millionnaires and not used to getting told anything on one end, and then he has to face a flurry of interested media afterwards who all feel that they have grounds on which to criticize him, and you’ve got a a job posting that a lot of people aren’t going to answer.
People who complain about Cory in Ottawa don’t seem to realize that he isn’t responsible for signing on players who have been less than stellar on the season (not to mention names, but we all know which big signings and bad trades resulted in very little dividends), nor is he responsible for the spate of injuries that have plagued them this season.
Some say that his game strategy has been lacking, but in all fairness, so has his roster. And despite the losses piling up, Ottawa has played with spirit, even if they haven’t been rewarded. It can’t be easy to cheer on a losing cause, but while fans have the option of jumping off the bandwagon at the nearest stop, Clouston does not. This is his job. Having a job where everyone else around you seems to set you up for failure, not being able to make a real difference in it, is not frustrating- it’s devastating.
Cory’s doing the best that he can and kudos to the organization for helping him out. Getting endorsement from the organization at a time when the easy solution would have been to just push him out of his job, Clouston should feel empowered to demand more out of his team and they should feel compelled to give it.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.