OTTAWA (AP) -Craig Hartsburg is the new coach of the Ottawa Senators, the third time he has led an NHL team.
Hartsburg takes over from Senators general manager Bryan Murray, who finished the season behind the Ottawa bench after coach John Paddock was fired in late February.
Hartsburg, who signed a three-year contract, also has coached in Anaheim and Chicago, and was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2002 to 2004. The 48-year-old Hartsburg has been coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for the past four seasons.
"I know it's a great challenge and I can't wait," Hartsburg said at a Friday news conference. "I love challenges."
Ottawa is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Eastern Conference and a first-round playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It appeared to me that one guy thrived on the scrutiny, thrived on the pressure and wanted to be in Ottawa," Murray said. "He wanted this job badly and he sent a message to me that at the end of the day, that's the kind of person we wanted."
Big things were expected from the Senators last season after they made it to the Stanley Cup finals the previous spring. But Ottawa had a poor second half and was swept in the first round.
"To me, it's not about being fixed, it's about a program and getting the players to buy into it," Hartsburg said. "A scorer's not just a scorer, he needs to do more. A checker's more than just a checker, he needs to do more."
Hartsburg has a career NHL coaching record of 184-190-69. In 10 seasons as a player, all with Minnesota, he had 98 goals and 315 assists for 413 points in 570 career games.