OTTAWA - Bob Hartley, a strong finalist for the Ottawa Senators coaching job in 2007 when GM Bryan Murray decided to hire Craig Hartsburg, can be crossed off the list of possible candidates to replace Cory Clouston.
The 50-year-old Hawkesbury native told the Ottawa Sun Monday he’s signed a contract to coach the Zurich Lions in the Swiss Elite League next season and won’t back out of the deal to accept a job in the NHL.
“I met the owner, the president and the GM. I like the direction they’re taking and they want to win. I gave my word, I signed a contract and that’s where I’m going to be,” said Hartley.
“I wanted to coach in Europe at some point in my career, and, more importantly, in my life. I’m really, really excited. I’m very happy. The whole family is pumped about this. I’m going there for two weeks in May and then in September I’ll be there for good.”
Hartley, who signed a two-year deal in Zurich, said if he hadn’t won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2000-01, he might feel differently. He didn’t want to wait around for NHL jobs this spring.
“I could have waited,” said Hartley. “I even told Bryan three years ago in my interview that at one point, I’d like to go to Europe.
“I’m going to a beautiful city and a prestigious organization. If you don’t live up to your commitments, I don’t think you should be very valued as a person. I gave my word to Zurich and I will be there.”