The Ottawa Senators filled their coaching gaps today with the addition of Dave Cameron and Mark Reeds as assistant coaches. Cameron, who was originally thought to be a candidate for the top position, will surely welcome this new opportunity to coach at such a high level. Despite a disappointing end to Canada’s rough ride at the WJC, Cameron performed well at the tournament, promoting his ‘lunch box’ style for the players. It’s a gritty, hard-working, grinding sort of game philosophy and it couldn’t be more welcome in a city than Ottawa, which has been known to be a bit complacent over the years. No more, though, as a new coaching staff should infuse the club with more energy, not to mention all the up and coming young stars.
The new coaching staff in Ottawa presents a new direction and a new attitude for the team. If a strong work ethic and dynamic game style balanced with responsible play on both ends of the ice is instituted early on in Ottawa’s locker room, then Ottawa should have a good, if not winning, season. A good season at this point is what we’re all hoping for. While it’s understood that winning may still be in the offing, it’s best to be realistic, even if that’s a hard thing for fans to do, and settle for a good season.
A good season is not just a good numbers season. While it’s nice to have wins, it’s always easier to accept losses that are close and games where there’s spirit and effort. A good season would be one in which Ottawa begins to gather some of its confidence and a foundation can be laid for a strong team in the future. A good season would be one in which it appears that the players themselves are happy to be there and happy to work towards common goals and media scrums don’t look like the Inquisition. Icing on the cake would be an elevated game style with less endless, pointless passing in the zone and stronger power plays. Cameron will likely not stand for that kind of game and Ottawa fans are sick of it.
As the Ottawa coaching staff come together to make important decisions about Ottawa’s future, it will make a lot of its choices based on their adopted game plan. Picking up more hard-working, heart and soul players will likely be a part of that process. Hopefully, this signals the end of the big contractitus in Ottawa, whereby players are picked up on ridiculous contracts that are hard t0 get out of (Heatley) or when they’re past their prime (cough- Kovalev- cough). Ottawa should not focus on a big signing, but grab less marquee players who work every shift. That’s part and parcel of a lunchbox mentality and it’s one that I can completely buy into. This is a good decision for Ottawa. Let it be followed by a great draft pick.
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.