Cory Clouston's press conference took place yesterday afternoon, and the response we received was hardly a shock.
The Ottawa head coach was largely measured in his description of the drama surrounding Dany Heatley, verbalizing that the winger's role wasn't diminished in his opinion, and he was attempting to distribute scoring chances among the players.
To be fair, the Senators have always faced issues with secondary scoring -- Clouston could attempt to gear it up by switching things around, but history has shown it rarely works in lengthy doses. Heatley was, and still is regarded as the team's go-to guy for points (despite being a one-trick pony while doing so). Even if he wanted to legitimately reduce No. 15's role as punishment, the coach couldn't afford to do so.
That being said, The Driver brings up a relevant question:
"If Heatley thinks his role was diminished last year, what will his role be if he comes back and now he's fighting Kovalev for ice time?"
The newly-minted Clouston gained the confidence of fans and the front office with his effort to right a sinking ship last season. He will be looked upon to start this year out on the right foot, and it wasn't setting up to be an easy task, even prior to the Heatley circus. He could attempt to placate Heatley by getting him his touches, but how will that sit with a headcase like Alexei Kovalev (and vice versa)? Could you play them on a line together? Of course, but you get the feeling that there would be a visceral reaction from one or both if things weren't split right down the middle.
Clouston handled himself well yesterday, which couldn't have been easy, given the way he's been dragged into this mess (and regardless of the mounting evidence that suggests there's more to the story). One initially thought he had a pile of work to conquer if he had a chance of surviving a mid-season changing of the guard. That pile -- assuming that Heatley makes an appearance -- is beginning to look like Mt. Everest.
- ► 2010 (69)
- Welcome to Edmonton East
- Get your fill of Dean Brown
- Clouston's middle finger restraint
- Audio from the Clouston presser
- Clouston: No. 15's role never diminished
- Waiting on the Babyface
- In Memory of Jeff Kent: 2000-2009
- No. 15: Now what?
- Waiting on Bryan Murray
- Heatley: "Me want options, attention, pancakes!"
- A heads-up
- The Tooth talks
- A heads-up
- Down to the 24-hour mark
- Patrick Eaves lands on his feet
- ▼ August (15)
- ► 2008 (187)
- ► 2007 (181)
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