You can't blame Pete DeBoer if he feels a little like a lottery winner after Craig Hartsburg was aced by the Ottawa Senators.
After all, the Florida Panthers head coach was a finalist for the head coach's job that went to his friend Hartsburg last summer. When Senators general manager Bryan Murray picked Hartsburg, DeBoer was hired by Panthers GM Jacques Martin.
Hartsburg was fired by Murray on Monday, just 48 games into his first NHL season with the Senators, although their 17-24-7 record was hardly his fault.
But DeBoer was not feeling particularly fortunate, just sorry that his friend lost his job. They coached against each other for several years in the Ontario Hockey League.
"I know from having had talks with Craig when we played each other this season he was doing everything he could to get things turned in the right direction," DeBoer said. "It's a tough business."
Someone asked if he thought going into Ottawa last summer would have been a tough situation. DeBoer considered the fact the Panthers were coming off their seventh consecutive season out of the playoffs and laughed.
"You mean tougher than Florida?" he said.
Choosing your entry into the NHL is a luxury very few coaches have.
"There's only 30 jobs in the world out there," DeBoer said. "If someone is going to give you the opportunity, you take it and try to make the most of it."
As for the injustice to Hartsburg, DeBoer said, "I don't know anything more about that situation than you guys. I just know Craig. He's a good coach and a heck of a good man."