MacLean gets second interview with Sens
Minny woos MacTavish
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
The Senators' coaching search is down to the short strokes.
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.
With Murray trying to get a coach in place before the draft June 24-25, it's believed MacLean, former Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish and Kleinendorst are on the short list.
But MacTavish's name may soon be crossed off. The belief is he has emerged as the top contender for the vacant coaching job with the Minnesota Wild.
As for Kleinendorst, 50, his stock has risen after winning the Calder Cup. He did a terrific job with the club's prospects, but is in a difficult position. A bad precedent was set with the hiring of Cory Clouston out of Binghamton. No one is sure where Mississauga Ice Dogs coach Dave Cameron -- the favourite of owner Eugene Melnyk -- stands in the process with Ottawa. The belief in OHL circles is Cameron will not be back in junior next year.
MacLean, 53, who has been on Mike Babcock's staff in Detroit since 2005-06 and is familiar with Murray from their days in Anaheim -- where Murray was the GM and hired MacLean as an assistant under Babcock in 2002 -- was a finalist for the Columbus Blue Jackets job last spring that went to Scott Arniel.
Once Murray makes his final choice, the top candidate usually meets with Melnyk before a deal is completed. Murray likes to make sure the owner is comfortable with the decision.
The Senators have also interviewed Montreal assistant Kirk Muller and Saint John Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant. Both are now considered longshots.