Ottawa Senators Report Cards 2015-16: Management
Looking at Dave Cameron and Bryan Murray after a disappointing season
The Ottawa Senators had a disappointing season, and a big part of that fell squarely on management and coaching. That was reflected at season's end, with coach Dave Cameron being fired. Bryan Murray also moved on from his GM position, moving on to be an advisor to his successor Pierre Dorion. That was likely just for health reasons, but there may have been an element of the Sens needing a new manager to lead the team to success.
Staff Rating: D (Highest C, Lowest F)
Reader Rating: D+
Last Year: A-
Cameron followed up last year's miracle run with a dismal season. Management was tentative, only offering him a two-year extension as head coach. He made a series of questionable decisions, including putting Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan on checking lines, playing Mark Borowiecki at forward for several games (and even putting him on the top line during the third period of a tied game), and refusing to play Shane Prince in any kind of scoring role. His teams also showed a distinct lack of structure in the defensive zone, the team's PK and PP were right near the bottom of the league, and the team was badly outshot most nights. Some of that falls on the assistants, but Cameron also got to hire his assistants, so the blame should fall at least somewhat on him. It turns out last season's performance was mostly a fluke. I hate to see someone lose their job, but I really don't think Cameron did much to keep his.
Staff Rating: C- (Highest B-, Lowest D)
Reader Rating: C+
Last Year: C+
The last time Murray made an in-season NHL-level player-for-player trade was at the deadline in 2013, when he traded Ben Bishop for Cory Conacher. So it's fair to say the Dion Phaneuf trade was a shocker. What was impressive is that he managed to offload Jared Cowen and Colin Greening's toxic contracts in exchange for an NHL defenceman. What's more frightening is that Hoffman, Zibanejad, Pageau, Stone, Turris, and Karlsson all will need extensions before Phaneuf's cap hit comes off the books. Outside of the Phaneuf trade, his moves were fairly minor: trading Shane Prince for a 3rd-rounder, signing some UFAs for Binghamton over the summer, trading B-Sens pieces when it was clear the minor league team was terrible. So overall, a more active year for BMGM than usual, but your opinion on whether or not his year was good likely depends on your opinion on Phaneuf.
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