Ottawa Senators appoint Clouston as permanent coach

Wed Apr 8, 2009 1:17pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Ottawa Senators agreed a two-year contract with stand-in head coach Cory Clouston on Wednesday after he revived the fortunes of the struggling NHL side, the team said in a statement.

Since taking over on a temporary basis in early February, Clouston has led the team to a 19-10-3 record. The Senators will miss out on the playoffs for the first time since 1996, however, after a poor start to the season.

Clouston, 39, took charge when the club fired Craig Hartsburg after less than eight months in the job. He had previously been head coach at the team's Binghamton Senators American Hockey League affiliate.

Ottawa reached the Stanley Cup final series in 2006-07, losing in five games to the Anaheim Ducks. Although they started the following season at a blistering pace they fell away in the second half and have struggled ever since.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren, editing by Justin Palmer)