OTTAWA — Rick Bowness, the only head coach of the expansion Ottawa Senators, was fired on Monday.
Bowness was pushed out by an eight-game losing streak. A humiliating 6-0 defeat in Buffalo on Sunday night left the Senators with a lifetime record of 39-178-18 under the man known as Bones. The team is 6-13-0 this season, fourth worst in the NHL.
General Manager Randy Sexton said he was looking for a spark, but just might have lit the fuse on his own long-term demolition.
"We felt we needed a new head coach not burdened by those formative years," Sexton said. "We needed to provide a spark or a lifting symbol to our team. We still have an opportunity to put the team back on track."
If Bowness, 40, was burdened by the Senators' past, Sexton is equally encumbered. Sexton, 36, has directed the Senators from the outset, first as president and more recently as general manager.
Sexton didn't get a ringing endorsement from club owner Rod Bryden. "I understand it would be much more popular if I were to fire Randy Sexton at the same time," Bryden told the assembled media by speaker phone from New York, with Sexton listening impassively.
"I recognize Randy has not become the most popular general manager in the world. I don't happen to think [firing him] would be the right decision. But whether Randy is successful over the rest of this year and next year remains to be seen."
Bowness could not be reached for comment.