OTTAWA - Cory Clouston is on thin ice.
This could be a big weekend for the Senatorsí embattled coach after GM Bryan Murray refused to give him a vote of confidence Wednesday following a 45-minute workout at Scotiabank Place.
After reading the riot act to the players before practice, Murray said in a scrum with reporters he couldnít confirm Clouston is going to coach this club until the end of the season.
Clouston is in the final year of his contract and it would appear heís facing a couple of must-wins Friday against the Blackhawks in Chicago and Saturday at home versus the Tampa Bay Lighting.
ďIím not going to answer a question like that because I donít know,Ē said Murray. ďWe go to Chicago. We come home and play Tampa. We go on the road the following week. I canít answer that honestly. Iíve talked to the staff about that. Weíre all in a position where we have to do a better job.Ē
There was some good news Wednesday as assistant coach Luke Richardson returned to the ice for the first time since the tragic death of his 14-year-old daughter Daron in mid-November.
Richardson didnít address the media and likely wonít for a few days. The players were happy to see him.
ďWe donít even know what heís been through the last little while but to see him back on the ice with us gives him a little bit more sense normalcy. Iím pretty proud of him for getting back out there,Ē said defenceman Chris Phillips.
Goaltender Pascal Leclaire also skated for 25 minutes. He wonít play in Chicago but should dress as the backup.