PHILADELPHIA -- Bryan Murray fired back at John Paddock last night.
The former Senators coach e-mailed the Ottawa GM to apologize for remarks he made to the Camden Courier-Post that the club isn't good enough and Murray will be held accountable.
Paddock can expect a stern warning to be careful what he says. Murray said he was "disappointed" in the remarks and added there is a clause in Paddock's Senators contract, which is still being paid out, saying he is not to say anything detrimental about the organization. Part of his salary is being paid by the Flyers because he's coaching their AHL affiliate in Philly.
"You don't have the right to share anything about the organization or say anything about the organization. He is aware of that," said Murray.
Murray, who fired Paddock Feb. 26, 2008 after the club started to slip and went behind the bench, said he wasn't sure why the comments were made, but believes part of the reason the Senators went sour was Paddock's work ethic.
"I'm disappointed and a little bit surprised by it," said Murray. "I'm not sure what purpose he was trying to achieve doing that. He sent me an apology. Lots of people who follow the game thought we were one of the good teams at the start and then we end up collapsing.
"The only complaint I ever had with John was that I didn't think he worked hard enough at getting himself ready and getting the team ready to play games. When you lose your job, you have reasons that you tell your friends. He indicated to me he didn't know he was being interviewed. That he talked to someone and it was personal feelings and that came out of it."
RUUD REMARKS: They don't like Senators LW Jarkko Ruutu much in these parts either. On a board in the Flyers' dressing room, they had the Ottawa lines from their game vs. the Sabres Wednesday. Next to Ruutu's name, there was a derogatory remark that decorum forbids repeating. LW Scott Hartnell noted to a couple of reporters he couldn't have done it because the writing was neat ... Former Gatineau Olympiques C Claude Giroux has fared well since being recalled from the club's AHL affiliate Dec. 26. He has been moved into the middle of RW Mike Knuble and LW Simon Gagne. "I'm just pretty lucky to be playing with those guys," said Giroux, who had 106 points with the Olympiques last season. "I'm going to work hard. If I want to stay there, I just have to prove that I can play with them." Philly coach John Stevens has liked what he's seen. "He reads off those guys really well. They know if they're open they're going to get the puck," said Stevens. "We're not sure where he'll end up, but he certainly gives us options with his versatility."
AROUND THE BOARDS: Senators coach Cory Clouston said he has to do a better job managing the bench after RW Dany Heatley played only 12:44 with 16 shifts vs. the Sabres Wednesday. "It's not enough. It's my fault. We've got to get him more ice time and I've got to find ways to get him out there more," said Clouston. "It wasn't an indication of his play, it was because we had (12) penalty kills. Sometimes the ways games develop it becomes a little bit out of your control. But, he needs to get more ice time. He's one of our elite players and he needs to get out there more to be effective." ... Good to see the Senators learned a lesson against the Sabres about taking penalties: The Flyers only had two power plays in the first 13 minutes. Buffalo had three in that stretch Wednesday ... Philly anthem singer Lauren Hart is the best in the NHL.
OFF THE GLASS: Stevens has been impressed with the job Clouston has done since taking over from the fired Craig Hartsburg last week. Stevens replaced Ken Hitchcock on Oct. 22, 2006, only 10 games into the season. He was in his first year as a Flyers assistant after coaching the AHL's Phantoms. "It's not easy. You're coming in under fire and you're coming in because things aren't good," said Stevens. "He's taken over a situation that hasn't gotten to a level they wanted, but you don't get those jobs because everything is going great. It's a real credit to him that he has come with the attitude he has." ... Flyers C Daniel Briere, the last one off the ice following the morning skate, has resumed practising with the club and has circled Feb. 26 for a possible return from groin surgery. "I'm still far from playing and definitely not strong enough at this point to play, but it's another step," the Gatineau native said.
PARTING SHOT: Speaking about the Senators on his Buffalo radio show on WGR yesterday, Sabres C Adam Mair said: "They're the cockiest last-place team in the league." Told about the comments, Sens assistant GM Tim Murray noted, "It's about time our guys had some confidence in themselves. They haven't had much to be confident about all season."