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Senators sack coach Hartsburg

CRAIG Hartsburg was fired as coach of the Ottawa Senators on Monday after 48 games and with the team apparently on its way to missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.

Hartsburg, 49, was replaced by 39-year-old Cory Clouston, who was promoted from the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators. Clouston is the team's fourth coach since Ottawa appeared in the 2007 Stanley Cup finals. He was given a three-year contract.

The Senators are 13th of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference with a 17-24-7 record and are 14 points out of eighth spot to qualify for the playoffs.

The decision to replace Hartsburg with Clouston was made by general manager Bryan Murray after Ottawa lost 7-4 at Washington on Sunday. Hartsburg signed a three-year contract in June.

"We've made another coaching change and now we have to watch the players over the next period of time and decide who stays and who doesn't stay to help us go forward," Murray said. "There will be judgements made before the trading deadline."

The latest coaching change was made less than a week after team owner Eugene Melnyk held a news conference to say he still believed in his club. Talk of a potential change started in December.


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