Yet to be officially announced, it is widely believe that OHL coach Dave Cameron will be named as an assistant coach to newly anointed head coach Paul MacLean’s coaching staff. Cameron was a finalist for the vacant head coaching position in Ottawa but lost out to MacLean last week.
Cameron is familiar with the Senators organization as he has been on Ottawa’s owner, Eugene Melnyk‘s payroll for the last seven years. In the role of head coach for both the AHL Binghamton Senators and the OHL Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (both teams that are owned by Melnyk), Cameron has been loyal to Melnyk and it seems to have finally paid off.
Cameron let the news slip at the Majors awards banquet last Saturday,
“It’s just a matter now of crossing some T’s and dotting some I’s,” Cameron said. “The one thing I’ve always said is that coaches are no different than players in terms of wanting to get to the National Hockey League. I’m really excited and humbled to get the chance to go to the best league in the world. You know, I was fortunate enough to make it as a player and now I’m really excited to be going back as a coach.”
As head coach of the Binghamton Senators for three seasons from 2004-05 to 2006-07, Cameron had a AHL record of 105-106-29 with one playoff birth. Then, as a gesture of good faith to Melnyk, Cameron returned to the OHL to coach the Major’s as the team was in disarray. He spent the past four seasons with Mississauga, leading the Majors to a 165-91-16 record and four straight playoff appearances – a first-round loss, second-round loss, third-round loss and finals loss.
Cameron’s last year has given him a lot of press for all the wrong reasons. He began the year off with a loss in the World Juniors gold medal game to the Russians as Team Canada collapsed in the third period. Then he followed that up with a loss in game seven in the OHL final. And to top off his year, he lost in front of his home crowd in the Memorial Cup final.
With these three major losses in the last year, Cameron was widely seen as a coach who couldn’t win the big game. This may have been the main reason why he was passed over in favor of MacLean for the head job in Ottawa. But believed by most to be involved in some capacity in the coaching situation within the organization, Cameron’s loyalty has finally paid off.
Melnyk stated a few weeks back that his number one choice for the head coaching job in Ottawa was Cameron, but the decision was up to GM Byran Murray. With Murray sticking to his guns and going with MacLean, many wondered if Cameron would be slotted in one of the two vacant assistant coach positions. With MacLean being allowed to select his own staff, it is believed that Cameron was one of his selections.
With one more assistant coach position open, MacLean has interviewed a few candidates with the leading man believed to be OHL coach Mark Reeds of the Owen Sound Attack. The rest of the staff is believed to be filled out by leftovers from Clouston’s staff as goalie coach Rick Walmsley and assistant coach Luke Richardson are expected to be retained.
What are your thoughts on the hire of Cameron?
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