Muckler clears air over Nolan

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- John Muckler wants to set the record straight.

The Senators GM threw water on the fire on any idea that he considers tonight's game against the Islanders as some sort of a rematch against Ted Nolan.

Speaking publicly about Nolan for one of the few times since both were fired by the Sabres in 1997, Muckler said he wasn't the one who pulled the plug on Nolan as Buffalo's coach.

Nolan, a Jack Adams Trophy winner, resurfaced this season behind the Islanders' bench.

"I don't know where all the talk of Nolan began to start with," Muckler said yesterday. "I hired the guy. I didn't fire the guy. That's all I've got to say about that.

''I just don't understand this same thing going on and on and on. Why? I have no idea. I didn't have anything to do with his firing at all. The present GM (Darcy Regier) and the present president (Larry Quinn) fired him."

Yes, there have been reports that Muckler and Nolan clashed. It's been widely speculated that Nolan went behind Muckler's back to try to get him fired. It should be noted Quinn and Regier offered Nolan a one-year deal at the time and he turned it down.

"Some people get second and third chances," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "I've seen lots of guys get one turn and never get back in. Gary Green, I took his job in Washington, and he was 27 years old and he never coached again in the league.

"Sometimes, it's your doing and sometimes it's the luck of the draw."

Muckler reminded reporters he was the one who gave Nolan a chance as an NHL coach in the first place.

"I hired him and I'm the only one who gave him a job in the NHL up until now," said Muckler.

A NEW LOOK: This was too close a call for Joe Corvo. The Senators defenceman will wear a visor against the Isles tonight after a puck hit near an eye during Saturday's 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay. While Corvo isn't convinced he'll keep the shield, he admitted he's lucky to get away only with a deep cut, four stitches and some foggy vision because of eye drops. "It hit my eyeball and that was a scary thing," said Corvo. "That freaked me out. I thought for a second it might have been all over, but it started coming back slowly." Still, Corvo has never been a fan of visors and is going to need convincing to keep it on. He may not have a choice, though, if there's concern about him getting a detached retina. "Look at my world championship numbers, they're garbage and they always have been," said Corvo. "Part of that is just because they make me wear the visor and the other part is because I wear that real tight-fitting stuff. I need to feel comfortable in my equipment." According to a recent poll by The Hockey News, 47% of players -- an all-time high -- are wearing visors this season. Senators centre Mike Fisher wore one because he broke his orbital bone in the playoffs last season. "It's not worth taking the risk," said Fisher. Corvo said the visor hurts his vision. "There's a discrepancy when you look down. It changes a little bit. It's like looking through a window and you look down and everything shifts a little bit," he said. But Corvo's mother has already told him to wear one full-time and his wife Angela didn't offer a lot of sympathy over his injury. ''My mom wants a direct line to the training room in case something like this happens,'' he said, ''and my wife just says, 'Of course, I told you so.' ''

NO CLOSER: Wade Redden isn't going to be back in the Senators lineup anytime soon. Redden, who has missed the last two games with a strained chest/shoulder injury, didn't skate with the club yesterday and isn't on the three-day road trip. While Redden will try skating today, Murray said he won't play this week, which means he'll also miss Saturday's visit by the Rangers. "He's going to skate and we will see where he is. He's certainly not 100%," said Murray. LW Peter Schaefer left early in practice because he got bumped in a drill, but should be fine to suit up against the Isles.


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