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Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun dropped a bombshell Monday about the Ottawa Senators, coach Cory Clouston and general manager Bryan Murray.

Seems that a story has been "making the rounds" that Murray tried to fire Clouston a month ago and was overruled by owner Eugene Melnyk, who has apparently decided that a third head coach getting a pink slip in the last four years is enough to (finally) turn his attention to the general manager's calamitous tenure.

From Simmons:

The story going around is that Melynyk told Murray and if Clouston goes, he might as well go with him. Murray has already been through a bevy of coaches, including Craig Hartsburg and John Paddock. Apparently, Clouston will be his last coach. Unless Melynyk had a change of heart.

But expect this: Murray and Clouston both gone at the end of the season.

Clouston is in the last year of his contract, and Don Brennan of the Sun believes the players have basically quit on him, judging from recent efforts like that 5-1 curb-stomping from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Would there still be time to salvage the season if a change was made? The math's not in Ottawa's favor.

This may not be the only case of ownership showing its pimp hand to a general manager who desired to scapegoat the coach. From CBC Sports' Elliotte Friedman comes this tale of the Calgary Flames:

The aftermath in Calgary is really ugly. Sounds like Darryl Sutter wanted to fire brother Brent as head coach, but ownership decided to remove him instead. Scott Oake reported that, as of Saturday, Darryl had refused to talk to Brent or replacement Jay Feaster. Jarome Iginla(notes) did have a brief conversation with the former GM.

If it's any consolation to Darryl, the Senators may be in the market for a GM soon, and conversing with Jay Feaster would just take valuable time away from résumé polishing.

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