Senators looking to hire president of hockey operations

During Saturday Headlines the panel discussed the Senators looking for a hockey operations president, the return of both Quinn Hughes and Austin Watson as well as if there will be any changes to the current NHL playoff format.

The Ottawa Senators have a big project ahead of them as they embark on a massive rebuild, and they’re looking to bring in a little more help to ensure its success.

“One of the things that the three of us have been hearing is that Ottawa is thinking about hiring a president of hockey operations, and the Senators said today that is true,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, alongside fellow insiders Nick Kypreos and Chris Johnston. “It’s not imminent, but the one thing they wanted to come out and say clearly was that this does not mean that Pierre Dorion is in trouble. They supported the work he’s done in building up their prospects and picks.”

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has been very vocal about his support for Dorion and the job he’s done in Ottawa. The Senators also released a statement Saturday to reiterate the franchise’s faith in Dorion and their intent to hire an executive to “support and provide guidance” to the GM.

[blockquote]General manager Pierre Dorion has done a masterful job of assembling these important assets and positioning the Senators for the future. It’s one of the main reasons why Eugene Melnyk continues to have full confidence in Pierre Dorion and his team.[cite]-Senators statement[/cite][/blockquote]

“What they are looking at doing is increasing or putting back a person in the position that the late Bryan Murray used to have,” Friedman explained. “They called it critical to the future of the team. That’s what they are looking to hire.”

It’s possible the Senators might not be the only club looking to hire at the position.

“As far as the Edmonton Oilers are concerned, it’s still debatable how deep the ownership — especially Darry Katz — wants to go in making significant changes,” Kypreos said.

The Oilers have been in the market for a new general manager since January when they fired Peter Chiarelli, and CEO Bob Nicholson has made it clear he’s taking his time in finding the perfect candidate as he looks to fix the culture in Edmonton. Could that search extend to hiring a second executive?

“[Katz] also has the option, much like the Ottawa Senators, to find a president to oversee his general manager and their relationship with the coach moving forward. Right now, that presently belongs to Bob Nicholson,” Kypreos explained. “But what a president of hockey operations would do, is it would exclude Bob Nicholson from the hockey side and get him solely looking at the business side.”


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