(UPDATE 7:37 AM)- The Ottawa Senators will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 11:00 AM to make the hiring official.
It was a search that included more than seven interviews with a number of extremely qualified candidates. In the end the Ottawa Senators and General Manager Bryan Murray got the guy they wanted.
Paul MacLean, born in France and raised in Nova Scotia, and a former Assistant with the Detroit Red Wings will be named the next head coach of the Ottawa Senators. Bob McKenzie has indicated that a formal announcement is expected tomorrow.
It should be made clear that this was certainly not an easy decision for Murray. I mentioned that MacTavish was the favourite at one point and I stand by that. MacT really impressed Murray in his interview and the head coach experience had him among the leaders. Then Kleinendorst went and won a Calder Cup and made Murray’s life even more difficult.
In the end Murray chose the guy that he felt was the best fit.
While Murray didn’t end up going with the guy with the most head coach experience, he does get a guy that has been at it for a long time. MacLean has spent the last five years in the Red Wings organization working under one of the best in Mike Babcock.
He also spent two season in the Ducks organization and has worked with Murray before.
I’ll be honest when I say I don’t know a whole lot about what we can expect from MacLean as a coach. I’ve heard he is a no non-sense type guy but obviously must be good communicator as well. Murray has made it clear that was one of the most important qualities he was looking for in a coach.
There were mixed reaction to each of the candidates discussed during the search but I get the sense that MacLean was the fans choice as well. While I think a lot of that has to do with the mustache, he has also spent a lot of time with a great organization in Detroit and with has worked under one of the league’s most respected coaches in Babcock.
Looking forward to seeing him behind the Ottawa bench!