There was a sense of relief from members of the Ottawa Senators following owner Eugene Melnyk's admission that general manager Bryan Murray and coach Cory Clouston will remain in place until the end of the season.
With the Senators mired in one of their worst slumps, losers of five in a row and 11 of their last 12, calls for Murray and Clouston's head have been hanging over the team for weeks. Melnyk's statement finally relieved some of the pressure and allows the players to place all their focus on the game.
"I think that's a good thing because It would have been our fault if something did happen," said Mike Fisher. "I think we can all just relax and play and do the best job going forward. It's one of those things guys can't control and you just go out and play and just worry about doing your job. It's in other people's hands and you try to not let it affect you as much as possible."
With 33 games remaining the Senators chances of making the playoffs is somewhat unrealistic and with that being said Murray admitted that there could be changes leading to February 28th's trade deadline.
"Until the deadline here it's a bit of an audition for different people to see who we go forward with and who we don't go forward with and if it looks like we won't be competitive for a playoff spot my job will be to try and move a couple of guys at least for a pick or a prospect," said Murray. "Give them a chance for them to benefit their career on a playoff team and maybe we can benefit from that."
Fisher's name has been among those rumoured to be moved, but the 30-year-old centre says he can't allow himself to get caught up in the talk.
"What do you do," admitted Fisher. "I have been here and have been fortunate to be here for so long. I don't get too concerned about it because I can't really control it. Obviously I want to be here I love this city and I'd love to play my whole career here. Let's see what happens."
Fisher realizes that from now until the deadline the talk will continue, but says it's all just part of the game.
"We know the business," he said. "We know these types of things happen and we are expecting stuff to happen here coming up to the deadline. It's business as usual and we try to not let it affect us too much."