Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today the hiring of Paul MacLean as the club's head coach. MacLean signed a three-year agreement with the Senators.
MacLean, 53, was the head coach of the International Hockey League’s (IHL) Peoria Rivermen from 1993-96 and was named the Hockey News Minor League Coach of the Year in 1994 after leading the Rivermen to a 51-24-6 mark and a division title. The Rivermen made the playoffs in all three seasons under MacLean as he compiled an overall record of 141-81-22 in his first three seasons as a professional coach.
He joins the Senators after spending the last six seasons as assistant coach to Mike Babcock with the Detroit Red Wings. Durng his tenure with Detroit, the Red Wings finished first in the Central Division five times and made two appearances in the Stanley Cup final, winning in six games over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008 and losing in seven games to Pittsburgh in 2009. During his six seasons with Detroit, the team posted a 304-126-62 record in 492 regular-season games (.681 winning percentage).
"Paul brings a weath of experience as both a coach and teacher of the game," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. "He has been a winner during his coaching career and comes to Ottawa from an organization that has a history of both success on the ice and in developing players. He is a competitive person and we expect that our teams will display that same trait night-in and night-out."
Prior to joining Detroit, MacLean was hired in 2002 by Murray, who was then the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim's general manager. MacLean spent two seasons as an assistant to Babcock, the Mighty Ducks' head coach at that time. In his first season in Anaheim, the club made its first Stanley Cup final appearance and posted a 69-62-19-14 record (.521) during MacLean's two seasons behind the bench. In his last eight seasons of coaching, MacLean has been part of a team that has reached the Stanley Cup final on three occasions.
"Paul represents a big part of the change we needed to bring to our hockey club," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. "The fact is we are a very different looking hockey team compared to a year ago. Bryan and I agreed it was important for him to bring in someone who is a solid communicator, can easily build a strong rapport with our players and has a proven track record of winning NHL games and Stanley Cups. Paul represents all of this, and I'm pleased to welcome him to Ottawa and the Senators organization."
Prior to the joining the Anaheim coaching staff in 2002, MacLean, who was born in Grostenquin, France, but grew up in Antigonish, N.S., was head coach of the Quad City Mallards of the United Hockey League (UHL) from 2000-02. MacLean led the Mallards to a two-season record of 112-27-9 (.787) and the 2001 Colonial Cup championship.
MacLean was the head coach of the IHL Kansas City Blades from 1997 to 2000. He spent one season as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996-97 and also a scout with the St. Louis Blues for two seasons from 1991 to 1993.
MacLean spent 11 seasons in the National Hockey League as a forward with St. Louis, the Winnipeg Jets and Detroit from 1980-81 to 1990-91. He played in 719 NHL regular season games, scoring 324 goals and adding 349 assists for 673 points. He recorded eight seasons of scoring 30 or more goals. He also appeared in 53 playoff games, scoring 21 goals and 35 points. MacLean set career highs in goals (41) and points (101) during the 1984-85 season with Winnipeg and was named to the Campbell Conference All-Star Team. MacLean also represented Canada internationally at the 1980 Winter Olympics, held in Lake Placid, N.Y.
MacLean spends the off-season in Nova Scotia with his wife, Sharon. They have two sons, A.J. & David, and a daughter, Erin.