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Paul MacLean’s steady hand guides Ottawa

Aug 4, 2013, 4:35 PM EDT

Paul MacLean AP

When you think of top coaches around the league, names like Mike Babcock, Joel Quenneville, and Claude Julien usually jump out first. 2013 Jack Adams Award winner Paul MacLean has done plenty in his first two years as a head coach to butt into the conversation.

MacLean inherited a Sens team from former coach Cory Clouston two seasons ago that had low expectations. He wound up taking them to the playoffs, nearly upsetting the No. 1 team in the East in the opening round. Not bad for a guy who spent eight years as an assistant to Mike Babcock (two in Anaheim, six in Detroit).

In a short amount of time, he’s gotten his share of recognition. MacLean missed out on the Adams Award in 2012 losing to Ken Hitchcock but won it this past season after a campaign marred by injuries at all positions. He led the Senators to the fifth spot in the East and a first-round playoff series win over Montreal.

Work like that makes him either a genius coach or a master magician. Now with realignment becoming a reality, MacLean will have to compete with his former team (Detroit) and former captain (Daniel Alfredsson) and with higher expectations as well.

If he can succeed with these new challenges to face up, it’ll be impossible to ignore him as one of the league’s best coaches.

  1. polegojim - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Nice job… I believe the Sens will win a Cup under him.

    Red Wings roots… great hockey head.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Aug 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    I believe his abilities come solely from his glorious and magnificent mustache. If the Sens get out to a fast start, look for rival teams to pull a Samson/Delilah move.

  3. blomfeld - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:44 AM


    Despite the fact that Paul MacLean is ‘good people’ and Ottawa being our nation’s capital, the bottom line remains that the NHL’s balance of power has now ‘clearly’ shifted to the western conference … and therefore these ‘fanciful’ stories about teams like the Senators and their ‘chances’ amount to nothing more than editorial ‘summertime’ filler. Three of the past four SC champions have emerged from the dynamic Western Conference, with the most notable being the ‘glorious’ Kings of Los Angeles only last year (ie: the NHL’s ‘current’ reigning SC champion as per Bloomberg Sports). Therefore there’s exists scant need to start ‘fantasizing’ about teams like the Senators and Paul MacLean (ie: God bless the man) having even a ‘snowball’s chance in hell’ against us Kings or the Sharks !

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