Could Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean really get fired less than 12 months after he won the Jack Adams Award?
Probably not, but it certainly seems like his standing with the team has been significantly diminished by Ottawa’s poor performance in the 2013-14 campaign.
GM Bryan Murray wants to wait until the season’s over before deciding what changes need to be made, but when asked specifically about MacLean’s future during an interview on TSN 1200, Murray offered lukewarm support at best.
“I don’t have any definite answer but Paul (MacLean) has got a contract going forward,” said Murray, per the Ottawa Sun. “He was coach of the year last year. I don’t know what happened this year necessarily as far as performance is concerned.”
After that, Murray did throw in that he thinks MacLean’s a good coach.
Anything could happen, but the Senators aren’t likely to start the 2014-15 campaign with a new bench boss. That being said, it seems reasonable to believe that if Ottawa struggles out of the gate next season, MacLean will be on the hot seat.
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.