The Ottawa Senators have fired head coach Paul MacLean, the club announced on Monday.
Dave Cameron, the 56-year-old who had been serving as an assistant coach, has been appointed the club’s new head coach. This is his first NHL head-coaching job.
Cameron coached Team Canada to a silver medal at the 2011 world junior championships.
“He’ll be a good teacher,” general manager Bryan Murray said at a press conference. “We don’t have a lot of older players, so the [younger ones] will certainly like Dave.”
The announcement arrives the morning after the Senators rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in overtime Sunday night.
The first NHL coach fired this season, MacLean leaves the current Senators with a record of 11-11-5 and sitting in sixth place in the Atlantic Division.
MacLean amassed a 114-90-35 record with Ottawa over his tenure. He had signed a three-year extension after the team’s successful 2012-13 season.
MacLean’s defensive tactics allowed opponents easier entry into the defensive zone and caused the Senators to play difficult games in which they were outshot often. This season Ottawa is being outshot 34.4 to 28.8 per game.
“The chances against our team on some nights is atrocious,” Murray said.”There was an uneasiness in our room.”
MacLean, a 56-year-old from Antigonish, N.S., is one season removed from winning the 2013 Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach of the lockout-shortened year.
In just over three seasons behind the Senators bench, MacLean led the team to two playoff appearances, making it as far as the second round in 2013. Last season, the Sens finished a disappointing 37-31-14 and failed to qualify for the post-season.
Before becoming an NHL head coach in Ottawa, MacLean served as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Detroit Red Wings, with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 2008 alongside Mike Babcock.
MacLean also played 11 years in the NHL as a defenceman for the Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets.
“Paul MacLean will coach again,” Murray said. “He’ll come back and be a good coach.”
(with files from CP)