In relatively surprising news, the Ottawa Sun reports that no NHL clubs have tried to gain permission to interview former Ottawa bench boss Paul MacLean or Luke Richardson, the head coach of the team’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
Richardson, the longtime NHL defenseman that’s been in Bingo for the last three years, has been tied to the vacant Buffalo gig thanks largely to his relationship with Sabres GM Tim Murray. The pair spent several seasons together in Ottawa and Richardson, still only 46 years old, has good coaching experience for a guy his age (he was a Sens assistant coach for three seasons prior to the AHL gig, under both MacLean and Cory Clouston.)
Speaking of MacLean… it’s unclear why he’s not getting interviews. The 2013 Jack Adams winner for NHL coach of the year, MacLean had some great early success in Ottawa — in 2013, he scored the organization’s first playoff series win six years — though he was fired amid criticisms of being too harsh and critical with his players.
That said, MacLean has enjoyed plenty of success behind the bench. Prior to his time in Ottawa he served as Mike Babcock’s right-hand man in Anaheim and Detroit, going to the Stanley Cup final in 2003 with the Ducks before winning it all in 2008 with the Wings.
MacLean, fired in the second of a three-year extension signed in 2013, is still under contract with the Sens, which could’ve played a factor in teams not wanting to interview him (see: compensatory draft picks.)