The writing was on the wall for the Ottawa Senators as their season continued its downward spiral after making the playoffs a year ago.
Change was coming.
Many had thought a full cleansing of the front office was to happen, but when owner Eugene Melnyk announced that he'd given GM Bryan Murray a three-year extension Friday, it meant that head coach Cory Clouston was going to be the one cleaning out his office.
The Senators announced Saturday night that Clouston, along with assistant coaches Brad Lauer and Greg Carvel were let go. Clouston, who was hired in February of 2009 and led Ottawa to a 19-11-4 record and then a 44-win season and a playoff berth a year ago, was set to see his contract expire this summer with Ottawa.
It's been a tough season for the Senators. Clouston takes the fall for a year in which injuries hit some of their top stars, free agent signing Sergei Gonchar took a giant step backwards from his days in Pittsburgh and the goaltending that helped take the team to the playoffs a year ago was subpar until Craig Anderson came and stabilizde things a bit.
As far as who steps in now behind the Ottawa bench, one name that's been floated for some time is Dave Cameron of the Melnyk-owned Mississauga St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League. That decision, according to Melnyk, will be solely up to Murray.