June 15th, 2011

The Senators' New Coach

For those with an interest in NHL hockey, the Ottawa Senators announced the hiring of their new coach, Paul MacLean, yesterday.

What's interesting about this new coach is what he brings to the table. Paul MacLean is the fifth coach to be hired by the Ottawa Senators since 2007, but what makes MacLean so interesting is his pedigree. First off, MacLean played 11 seasons in the NHL from 1980 to 1991, playing for the St. Louis Blues, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Detroit Red Wings. In 719 games, MacLean had 324 goals (including three 40-goal seasons in Winnipeg) and 349 assists for a total of 673 points, but he also had 968 penalty minutes as well. MacLean has also served as a minor league coach, and was recently an assistance coach under Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings, serving in that capacity since 2005.

This man is a rarity in the Ottawa Senators history. He's got a bona fide record as a player in the NHL (and I for one certainly appreciate the irony of the whole Winnipeg Jets business with him, given their return to the NHL this year), but more importantly, his coaching work in Detroit shows that he has the people skills, the communication skills, the ability to work with rookie players and veterans alike, and a coaching ethic that is solid. Overall, I think he's an excellent pick for the Ottawa Senators' new coach.

That said, it remains to be seen how MacLean coaches the Ottawa Senators, and how the players, both veterans and newcomers alike, respond to his coaching style, but the first indications are pretty positive in this regard. But either way, it looks like it's going to be an interesting NHL season this coming year for my Ottawa Senators.

Go, Sens, Go!