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Paul MacLean fired as coach of Ottawa Senators

December 8, 2014

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Paul MacLean was fired as coach of the Ottawa Senators on Monday, less than 18 months since he was the NHL’s coach of the year.

The coaching dismissal was the first in the NHL this season and comes with the team off to an 11-11-5 start. Team executives had problems with MacLean dating to last season when the Senators missed the playoffs.

Assistant Dave Cameron, a favorite of owner Eugene Melnyk, is believed to be in line to succeed MacLean. The expectation was that his promotion would be on interim basis.

Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray was to speak at a news conference Monday at Canadian Tire Centre.

MacLean, who previously worked as an assistant to Mike Babcock in Anaheim and Detroit, was in the first season of a three-year deal.

The Senators, widely believed to have the lowest payroll in the league, are 10th in the Eastern Conference. They have struggled since the retirement of longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson, who was honored in a pregame ceremony last week.

MacLean wore out his welcome among his players with defensive tactics that led to many games in which the team was outshot. Through 27 games, Ottawa has given up the second-most shots in the league behind only the Buffalo Sabres.

In parts of four seasons the Senators went 114-90-35 under MacLean, making the playoffs his first two seasons.

MacLean won the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL coach of the year in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He led his team to the playoffs despite injuries to Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson.

Update hourly