Building a Puzzle


Kaspars Daugavins might be offering free mustache rides but if Paul MacLean gets the Senators head coaching position, the Daugman will no longer have the best duster in the Senators organization.

According to a variety of journalists, the young Wilford Brimley lookalike, has received a second interview with GM Bryan Murray and is the frontrunner for the job.

From McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie)…

Coaching Carousel: smart $ on Paul MacLean to OTT, Glen Gulutzan to DAL, Craig MacTavish or Mike Yeo to MIN. Not done deals yet, just IMO.

And from this morning’s Bruce Garrioch article

While Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst had his initial interview with GM Bryan Murray Friday, Detroit assistant Paul MacLean — considered the leading contender for the job — was in for a second session at Scotiabank Place.

The logic behind a MacLean hire is straightforward – he has a history with Murray that dates back to their days in Anaheim; he comes with a recommendation from the venerable Mike Babcock, an individual who many regard as one of the best coaches in the game; and have I already mentioned that sweet duster?

Of course, like many of Ottawa’s other candidates, the one knock on MacLean is that he doesn’t have any NHL head coaching experience. You can sure as hell bet that this will be something that the cynical, windbreaker-wearing sect of the fan base will habitually remind us of.

On the flip side of the coin, there are going to be those optimists who will look MacLean’s Red Wings connection and inevitably draw conclusions that he’s a Babcock prodigy who can mold the Senators into Detroit-East.

It’s the same kind of blind faith that causes some individuals to use Binghamton’s Calder Cup victory as reason alone to validate the Murray regime’s entire body of work and prematurely promote Tim Murray as the organization’s next GM. Thankfully, there are people like Wayne Scanlan around who realize that AHL success can hardly be considered a precursor for triumph at the NHL-level.

Like a MacLean hire, it’s window dressing. Just one more piece in a convoluted puzzle designed to return the Ottawa Senators to prominence.

I believe the Tao of Stieb, a fantastic Blue Jays blogger put it best when describing what the Jays are going through right now and I believe it mirrors what is (should be?) going on in Ottawa:

I take comfort in seeing that The Plan put forward has been unwavering – build internally […] develop a homegrown roster of stars, and strike at free agency when the time is right.

It’s a process that requires patience on most nights and tolerance on others but with any luck, the end result will be a satisfying one for fans in the nation’s capital.