The Ottawa Senators are in need of some new voices, even if general manager Bryan Murray continues to pull the strings. They fired head coach Cory Clouston because he couldn’t wring another playoff berth out of a marginal roster, leaving a big question mark hanging over their future. TSN’s Bob McKenzie indicates that they will answer that question by announcing that Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Paul MacLean will be their next head coach on Tuesday.
This probable hiring follows the league’s recent pattern of coaching changes. Generally speaking, NHL teams seem to gravitate toward NHL-level assistant coaches or head coaches of successful AHL teams rather than the former tradition of recycling retreads. MacLean obviously falls under the assistant coaches category, making him the next notable Mike Babcock disciple to get a head coaching gig. (Todd McLellan is the other major example.)
MacLean spent two seasons (2002-03 and 03-04) as Babcock’s assistant in Anaheim before working with him for six more seasons in Detroit. His only head coaching experience comes in the IHL and UHL, where he most recently won a UHL championship with the Quad City Mallards in 2000-01. Before entering coaching, MacLean had a lengthy NHL career highlighted by a 101 point season with the Winnipeg Jets in 1984-85.
He was originally born in France, although he reportedly moved to Canada when he was two years old. While Senators fans hope that MacLean can bring some of that Red Wings competence to what has been an unruly Ottawa franchise, they can delight in his wonderful mustache even in the darkest of times.