From the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, on the future of Senators coach Paul MacLean in the wake of the Sens missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011:
MacLean, less than a year removed from being the Jack Adams winner as the coach-of-the-year, is definitely on the hotseat for his handling of the club’s talent and an inability to right the ship.
It spoke volumes when GM Bryan Murray refused to give MacLean a vote of confidence during an interview with TSN 1200 a couple of weeks ago.
The problems that plagued the Senators in a 7-4 loss Friday to the Montreal Canadiens were typical of what’s gone on far too many times this season and it’s a large part of MacLean’s job to address issues.
Heading into the first season of three-year a contract extension he signed in the summer, the Senators have to decide if they want to part ways with MacLean or give him a chance at redemption next year.
It seems hard to believe that MacLean could become a coaching casualty, even after conceding the Sens have taken a step back this season. Not to say he’s done a fantastic job — defensively, Ottawa’s had issues — but is the coach to blame for the team’s goaltending woes?
If he is fired, MacLean would arguably become a victim of his own success. The Sens overachieved the first two seasons under his watch, making the playoffs with one of the lowest payrolls in the league. The bar, as a result, was set higher.
On the bright side for MacLean, if he isn’t back with the Sens next season, he shouldn’t receive any shortage of interest for openings on other teams.