It's official: Muckler's out

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:24 PM ET

Getting to the Stanley Cup final wasn't good enough for Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

As reported first over the weekend in the Sun, John Muckler has been fired and former head coach Bryan Murray is taking over as GM.

"It's first-class organization, and I'll very much miss being part of it," said Muckler.

The search for a coach will begin immediately. Murray also said he will be looking for an assistant general manager and someone to fill a player personnel-type position.

Muckler, 73, was informed Friday he won't return next season and Murray, 64, was signed to a new deal.

Muckler learned of his fate in a telephone call from Melnyk after signing centre Dean McAmmond.

A source close to Muckler said he is "doing well."

"I want to take this opportunity to thank John Muckler for his substantial contributions to this organization," said Melnyk in a statement.

Murray said he is taking over a team in good shape.

"The depth and experience of the team presents us with an enormous opportunity to create a long-term plan that will allow us to bring forward a competitive team for many years," said Murray.

Murray said he will try to get his search for a coach wrapped up quickly. The top candidates are former New Jersey coach Claude Julien, Senators assistant John Paddock and Rochester coach Randy Cunneyworth.

As for other rumours about the future of Senators president Roy Mlakar, when asked directly about his future at the press conference today Mlakar said he does not intend to step down and plans to fulfill the rest of his contract.

The Senators compiled an impressive 48-25-9 in the regular season, and advanced to the Stanley Cup final before losing 4-1 in games to the Anaheim Ducks, shaking off the tag of post-season underachievers.


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