Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray quickly threw his spin on why he fired Paul MacLean and hired Dave Cameron as the new full-time head coach.
Little was left to imagination or interpratation.
In Murray's view, MacLean -- the 2013 Jack Adams Award winner, had lost the room. And in his view, this mediocrity, in spite of having the 30th ranked payroll in the NHL and a so-so .500 record, wasn't good enough.
"There was an uneasiness in our room without a doubt," Murray said in his news conference.
Regardless of why management fired MacLean -- it simply didn't smell right on a lot of levels -- Murray tried to spin Cameron as a teacher -- which he mentioned quite a few times in his news conference. He trumpeted Cameron's experience as a junior coach -- he coached the 2011 Canadian World Junior team, but has no NHL head coaching experience -- and a guy who can relate more to Ottawa's younger guys.
Cameron has been an assistant with Ottawa since 2011 and was a head coach with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors before then.
"Maybe now a little more aggressive style, we’ll chase the play more often and it will play into the young people on our hockey team," Murray said.
As for why Luke Richardson was not named the new head coach, Murray intimated that it was broached with the Binghamton (AHL) bench boss, but he was happy where he was. Per the quote, it certainly sounds like Cameron was the second choice. And also, with some other big names unemployed by NHL teams -- calling Guy Boucher -- this looks like another cheap move by the Senators and penny pinching Sherlock Holmes wannabe owner Eugene Melnyk.
"Luke certainly was a consideration. Luke is very happy right now in Binghamton," Murray said. "He has a daughter at Cornell and he wants to focus on that at this moment. And I think that’s fair of Luke to state that back to us. So Dave was the other guy in line."
As is always the case when a coach gets fired, there seems to be a difference of opinion on whether a roster can win. Management saw this team -- which saw Jason Spezza demand a trade in the offseason, and watched a still productive Daniel Alfredsson walk two summers ago -- as potentially being more competitive.
"Maybe I’m a tough judge on coaches. Maybe in some cases I didn’t pick the right guy," Murray, who is currently fighting Stage 4 cancer, said. "But I feel whatever happens you give the coach the opportunity you try to provide them the players that they feel will make it work for them, and if it doesn’t work you have to do what you have to do."
But how could a team that essentially replaced Spezza with David Legwand be considered a good bet? It's not. And now the Sens, who are still just four points out of the Wild Card, look like a strange mess with a new full-time coach who has no NHL head coaching experience.
MacLean probably won't have a tough time finding a new job ... but boy will it be fun to hear the Walrus's reubuttal off that newser.
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