Sullivan may get fired

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

Boston coach Mike Sullivan may have been given the kiss of death by GM Mike O'Connell. While promising to make changes -- C Dave Scatchard was dealt to Phoenix for D David Tanabe late Friday -- O'Connell indicated Sullivan wasn't the problem with the Bruins (who have a 7-9-3-2 record following last night's 3-2 loss to Buffalo) and he didn't foresee any change being made before the end of the year.

But Sullivan is in a tenuous position. He is in the last year of his contract and that's never good for a coach, which means nobody should be surprised if Sullivan gets fired. They don't keep bench bosses in Boston, they go through them quickly. They've had plenty over the years: Rick Bowness, Brian Sutter, Pat Burns, Steve Kasper and Mike Keenan just to name a few. Sullivan is the latest in a long line. Who will be his replacement? Well, it's interesting to note Hall of Fame D Ray Bourque just joined the club on a part-time basis to work with the blueliners. He hasn't started making road trips yet, but that could be next. Seems to me like Bourque might be the perfect fit for the Bruins ... The Wild honoured the memory of the late Sergei Zholtok last night. Zholtok, who spent part of his NHL career with the Senators, died tragically during the lockout while playing in Latvia.

AROUND THE BOARDS: The Florida media have taken to calling coach Jacques "What Me Worry?" Martin during the club's 10-game losing skid. In yesterday's edition of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, columnist Dave Joseph wrote that after Martin refused to blame the club's defencemen for a 4-1 loss Thursday in Ottawa: "Martin is either the coolest dude in the NHL or Mr. Magoo. He's the nurturing, patient coach or the bandleader on the Titanic. Does he really expect this team to become a playoff contender or is he oblivious to the possible wreck surrounding him?" ... There is talk Columbus GM Doug MacLean, who dealt for C Sergei Fedorov last week, has until Christmas to turn the club around or he'll be looking for work ... There are rumours the Russian Ice Hockey Federation will bring legal action against the Washington Capitals for signing standout rookie W Alexander Ovechkin, who was supposed to playing for Moscow Dynamo this season.

RUMOURS DU JOUR: Even after dealing Scatchard, the Bruins are going to make more changes. LW Sergei Samsonov, an unrestricted free agent next summer, could be dealt before Jan. 1 because he won't likely be back next season ... Florida GM Keenan is trying to make moves with his club mired in a brutal losing streak. He has been trying to deal RW Kristian Huselius and D Alexander Karpovtsev ... Watch for former Senators D Jason York, an Ottawa native, to end up back in the NHL. He has been playing in Lugano, Italy, but teams are looking for defensive help -- including the Panthers, who have lost Branislav Mezei for the balance of the season with a knee injury. The Panthers did acquire D Alexei Semenov from the Oilers yesterday for a conditional draft pick ... Are the Senators going to make a pitch for Scatchard by offering Phoenix little-used LW Vaclav Varada? Ottawa has always coveted Scatchard, but he makes $2.1 million (all terms US). There are whispers the Coyotes might move C Mike Ricci ... The Penguins and Flames are both in the market for second-line centres ... St. Louis C Doug Weight hasn't been asked to waive his no-trade clause -- yet ... Don't rule out C Todd Marchant winding up in Anaheim.

Have a nice Sunday.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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