Now Ottawa will turn their attention to the names directly under Boudreau's on their short list, and try to find someone suitable enough to right the ship in the nation's capital.
It's not the end of the world. But you're probably tired of hearing that. Because, as a Senators fan, you've been hearing that a lot.
It's the typical small-market way of thinking. Expectations are automatically lowered, and therefore the blowback of a loss in any circumstance is lessened. The media says it could be worse, the organization claims they just barely missed out and the fan base shrugs and accepts a second-tier outcome because it was kind of expected in the first place.
This seems to happen far too often with the Senators.
Let's start small and work our way up.
Most notably as of late, Shane Prince has been playing great hockey for the New York Islanders in the playoffs. Usually slotted on the third line with minimum ice time, the 23-year-old has three goals and an assist in the postseason. Because of outrageously poor performance evaluation, the Senators simply traded him away for the chance to upgrade their 7th round pick to a third round pick. Whoops, hopefully that third round pick turns out to be a proven, full-time NHLer by age 23 with a decent ceiling.
Jonathan Drouin is also having quite the postseason campaign. With eight points in nine games, he's been the Lightning's best player on multiple nights during both series so far. It's too bad Bryan Murray didn't take advantage of the situation in Tampa Bay, but Cody Ceci - and whoever else Steve Yzerman wanted thrown in - will definitely turn into a star player like Drouin was always going to, right?
Okay, now we're warmed up. What else?
Last year's magical run to the playoffs resulted in a first-round exit to the team's biggest rival and an organization completely overestimating the calibre of squad they had, realistically setting them back a few years. But everyone had fun for the two-and-a-half months of exciting hockey. So, who cares if the team just went through one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory and is now struggling to get back on track because of it?
This next one might cut a little deep.
Three years ago, arguably the greatest Senator of all-time - it's a marathon, not a sprint, Erik - Daniel Alfredsson left Ottawa to go to Detroit for his final season in the NHL after 17 years with the Senators. Ultimately, the reason for his departure was a mix of money and a legitimate chance at winning a Stanley Cup. Ottawa couldn't provide him with either, so the then 41-year-old packed his bags and headed to Michigan. But now Alfie's back and sitting in the press box most nights, studying and learning from the Senators' front office for a career in hockey management. We should probably just brush off and forget one of the most devastating days in franchise history.
Looking at the big picture - and I'm sure you've heard this many times this year - the Senators have won one playoff series in the last nine seasons. But hey, they're doing the best they can with a tight budget, and they've been reasonably competitive in those years, so be happy with what they've been able to achieve.
Now, let's bring it back to the present day.
Bruce Boudreau was by far the best coach on the market. What he was bought for in Minnesota was rather reasonable price and term. In the last nine years, Boudreau won eight division titles with Washington and Anaheim. He would've had an immediate effect in Ottawa, and his hiring would have drastically lifted the spirits and expectations of fans for the upcoming season.
But the Senators will still hire a coach with NHL experience. Just not Bruce Boudreau.
Oh, well. It's not the end of the world.