A Big Piece In The Rebuild: New Head Coach Paul MacLean

The New Man In Charge

Your Ottawa Senators officially announced Tuesday the hiring of Paul MacLean as the team’s next head coach. MacLean will be the franchise’s ninth head coach since the Sens came back into the league 19 years ago and was signed to a three year deal. Coming over from the Detroit Red Wings where he served as an assistant coach to Mike Babcock for five years, MacLean brings with him NHL experience and pedigree.

Having played in the NHL as a player, MacLean knowns what it takes to succeed in this league. Known as a goal scorer back in his day, after his playing days were over, MacLean was an assistant coach and head coach in the minors for many years winning championships and building his resume. MacLean broke into the NHL as an assistant coach in Anaheim when then General Manager Byran Murray brought MacLean in as part of Babcock’s team. He then reunited with Babcock again as an assistant in Detroit where he won a Stanley Cup in 2008. In total, MacLean has coached in three Stanley Cup Finals with a record of 1-2.

Here is the press conference to announce MacLean as Ottawa’s next head coach.

MacLean seems to be a great communicator as he was very comfortable in front of the sometimes harsh Ottawa media. Able to tell stories and joke around, MacLean is a breathe of fresh air compared to the terminator-like Cory Clouston. MacLean plans to bring the Detroit-style to Ottawa as he plans to make the Sens a hard working, physical, puck possession team. As MacLean stated, “the NHL is a fast and physical league. It needs to be played that way. The game is played over 200 feet. You have to be able to skate the whole rink. We’ll play good defence, but we’re going to come out and attack the net.”

Seeming like a man’s man, Maclean looks to be a no BS coach and as he stated, “I like winning.” He’s willing to work with the players and grow with the team and will sit down with the leadership core and discuss his plans on how to improve the team. As he said, “I want to get to know them and let them get to know me and find ways to make them important. They’re already important on the team, but we need to have conversations about my perception about the way they play and their perception about the way they play. At the end of the day, everybody just has to be a little bit better.”

Here is an interview with Gord Miller to get to know MacLean a little better.

Here is an interview with General Manager Byran Murray about the MacLean hire.

And here is your captain, Daniel Alfredsson speaking about his new head coach.

MacLean seems like the right man for the job in Ottawa’s rebuild. He has NHL experience, a track record of winning, ties to the Ottawa community and an presence that commands attention. MacLean is one piece of the rebuild as he will have three years to stabilize the bench that has seen so much turnover. With MacLean now in place, Ottawa will now focus on the upcoming draft where they will have 12 picks to make an impact in Minnesota.

What are your thoughts on the MacLean hire?

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