Feb 3, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean (top) reacts on the bench against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What Would You Do? #3 - Paul MacLean



This has been a very touchy subject for me all season long, and if you go back over my writing this season I have been very critical at times about the decisions made by Ottawa Senators’ coach Paul MacLean.

After looking at what the Senators might do with Ales Hemsky and Milan Michalek, I turn my attention to behind the bench for this version of “What Would You Do?”.

At times I thought I might have over-reacted, and maybe I did.  But I still stand by my points, and it seems like the trend is heading that way, and more people are questioning whether or not he should return behind the bench next season.

I have said all season long that the notoriety he gained last season between the Coach of the Year award and the positive press he gained in the famous showdown between himself and Habs coach Michel Therrien in the playoffs seemed to have gone to his head and he looked and sounded like a different person this year, and not in a good way.

MacLean hasn’t yet commenced his 3 year contract extension, which kicks in for next season, and the Senators have a long history of paying coaches not to coach in Ottawa.

From GM Byran Murray’s perspctive, MacLean is the 4th coach he has hired (John Paddock, Craig Hartsburg and Cory Clouston) and having to let go of another coach, and pay him for 3 years might not be an option given the financial state of the team.

There seems to be a coach-in-waiting in Binghamton, as Luke Richardson is sure to get an NHL job sooner rather than later and if the Senators want to keep him in the organization it might be now or never to advance him to Ottawa.

There are 2 options, and there will be a vast array of opinions regarding what should be done behind the bench  in Ottawa over the summer. The first one will be whether Paul MacLean is back or not.

What would you do?

What Would You Do WIth Paul MacLean At Season's End

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Tags: Ottawa Senators Paul MacLean What Would You Do?

  • http://www.indie403.com Damien Mustaphi

    I agree with your points and the fact that Luke Richardson needs to be given a chance…and needs to be back with his family in Ottawa.

    Having said that, I don’t like the firing or “deserting” of players over the summer, without a good reason. Everyone has a bad stint, but see if it can corrected before letting them walk (unless it’s a buyout or the player goes to FA).

    I say:

    Keep McLean over the summer. Do a staff clean-up, possible promotion of Luke to Assistant Coach in Ottawa (It may actually help the defensive system of the current team), and seriously look at locking down Milan and Ales.

    In the Fall, look at the first 10 games the same way as you look at a Junior player in audition. If the Sens go sub-.500 (With most of the current roster intact), make the coaching change and don’t look back…if the Sens go .500-.750, look at the next 5 games and re-evaluate from there…and obviously if they go .750-1.000, don’t make a change (at that point).

    This season has been inconsistent from a defensive perspective, for sure, and the goalies have been extremely shakey with inconsistent starts and even overplaying. The Sens are supposed to have one of the top tandems, but we are mixed in with the lowest in SV% and in the highest in GAA.

    I enjoy reading your articles, Jared, keep ‘em coming!

    • Ski931

      Two Reasons;

      1.) Luke Richardson has made it pretty clear he does NOT want to be an assistant in the NHL. He wants full control as anyone can see that would clearly be a step backwards for himself. That’s one of the reasons KK left the organization in the first place as he did not want to step back to an assistant’s job having already done that for New Jersey and Richardson has already fulfilled that role for Ottawa.

      2.) There’s a reason why he signed to an extension in Bingo and that is to be complete with his ‘family’ here in Binghamton while his daughter finishes up college 45 minutes away. His resume is already quite impressive in the AHL, but Ottawa’s not ready to dismiss MacLean just yet. If we are having this discussion a year from now and Ottawa hasn’t improved, then I can see it happening for Richardson being the head coach for Ottawa, but not as an assistant.