Alfie: Players take blame

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Daniel Alfredsson has seen a lot of coaches come and go in his 900 games with the Senators.

Lately, it's been far too many.

The Senators captain denied the players are "coach killers," but believes they do have to accept responsibility for Craig Hartsburg's firing.

"It's never fun. (But) it's part of the game and we didn't get the results we were expected to get," said Alfredsson. "We are all responsible ... usually, it's the coach who pays the price.

"I think everybody is held accountable. We're not going to put the blame on (Hartsburg) and say it's his fault ... Hopefully (Cory Clouston) can come in and give us some more energy because that's been lacking lately."

Alfredsson, who has played under all eight Senators coaching regimes, was taken by surprise over this firing, although he admitted to frustration.

"We've all been frustrated with each other: The coaches with us not playing well and us with the coaches at times.

"(Clouston) is going to come in with a lot of energy and he's a fiery guy. He's going to demand a lot of us. He's going to practise us harder than we have.

"Hopefully, we can use that energy to try to create something positive here."

Alfredsson said the onus is on the players.

"It always has been and it hasn't changed one bit," said Alfredsson. "We're responsible for (Hartsburg) getting fired. If things don't improve, (GM) Bryan (Murray) is going to make changes with the players as well."

Panthers coach Peter DeBoer, who was passed up for the Ottawa job, said he feels for Hartsburg.

"You feel for Craig, he's a good man, a friend of mine and a very good coach," said DeBoer. "A lot of this job is circumstance. I know having talked with Craig when we played, he was doing everything he could to get that team turned around. It's unfortunate. You never like to see that. It's a tough day, a tough business."


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