Eugene Melnyk put up a brave face this morning and he's confident in the club's prospects next season.
With the year coming to a close Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, the Senators owner maintained he is confident in the job being done by GM Bryan Murray and coach Cory Clouston, who has had the 'interim' tag removed from his title and has been given a two-year contract extension.
Murray is heading into the final year of his contract and next season will be big because the club seriously underachieved this year.
"A lot of people get skeptical when you bring in a rookie coach and throw him into a fire. It speaks to character when someone says they will do it. In hockey-crazed Canada, it speaks a lot when someone says, 'I'll do it'," said Melnyk.
"I believe that anybody that is prepared and has the stature I'm going to come in, make changes and deliver a winning team. That's a person I want on my hockey team."
Clouston has a 19-10-3 record behind the club's bench since taking over from the fired Craig Hartsburg on Feb. 2nd. The club has played better under Clouston with a more aggressive style.
Coming off a 3-2 victory over Boston Bruins, the club has a 9-0-0 record at Scotiabank Place -- a franchise record -- in its last nine games going into tomorrow's final home game against the New Jersey Devils.
"The expectations are high and I have every belief he's going to deliver," said Melnyk.
Clouston said he is pleased.
"We've shown what this team is capable of doing," said Clouston. "You can't do it by yourself. The coaching staff has worked hard and you have to give credit to the players. The true colours of this team has shown in the last couple of years."