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Ottawa Senators closing in on hiring new head coach with DeBoer front-runner

OTTAWA – Peter DeBoer met with Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk on Tuesday but the NHL club wasn’t ready to announce his hiring Wednesday.

A source close to the situation told The Canadian Press that both DeBoer and the Senators were still “considering their options.”

Reports surfaced early Wednesday that the Senators had hired DeBoer but the NHL club denied it.

“I haven’t hired anybody at this point in time,” Senators GM Bryan Murray told The Canadian Press.

DeBoer also denied it in a text message to The Canadian Press. Even still, the highly touted junior coach from the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers remains the front-runner for the Ottawa job.

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“We’ve had conversations but nothing has been determined at this point in time,” said Murray.

The Senators have also interviewed former Atlanta Thrashers head coach Bob Hartley and two-time national junior coach Craig Hartsburg.

Murray finished the season behind the Ottawa bench after coach John Paddock was fired in late February.