Bryan Murray admits he was completely caught off guard by the controversial comments made by his former head coach John Paddock.
One day after Paddock was quoted as saying that Murray should be held accountable for the team’s struggles, the Senators general manager responded to his ex-coach.
“I’m disappointed and I was surprised. I’m not sure what purpose he was trying to acheive with that,” Murray said prior to Ottawa’s game in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Paddock made waves when he was quoted in the Camden Courier-Post saying: “I think now (Murray’s) next in line (to be fired). We were 14 games over .500 when I was fired. They’re seven under now. Somebody needs to take responsibility for that. Whether the coaches he hired and fired are good or not, they’re his players and they’re either not playing good or can’t play – one or the other.”
Murray says Paddock contacted him via e-mail this morning to apologize for the comments to the suburban Philadelphia newspaper. Paddock, who is now the head coach of the Flyers AHL farm team, told Murray that he didn’t know he was being interviewed at the time he made the comments.
What surprised Murray the most about the comments in Thursday’s newspaper is that Paddock is still technically a Senators employee. The club is paying him for the final two years of his contract, but Murray warned that these types of comments in the future could cost Paddock his salary.
“There are a couple clauses we could put into play. We’re not vindictive in that regard – we’re just disappointed,” Murray said. “In all of our contracts, you don’t have the right to share anything from inside the organization or say anything about the organization. And he is aware of it.”
Murray also took the time on Thursday to re-iterate why Paddock was fired last February 26th – despite the fact that the team was in first place in the Northeast Division at the time.
“My only complaint with John was I don’t think he worked hard enough to get himself ready or the team ready to play games,” Murray explained. “We were slipping so badly that we had to make a change.”
Murray indicated that he plans to contact Paddock over the phone in the next couple of days to straighten out the situation.