June 14, 2011
Senators assistant coaches up to MacLean
By DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - In the end, only one other candidate had a second interview for the Senators’ coaching job.
It was Binghamton bench boss Kurt Kleinendorst.
“Very impressed,” Bryan Murray said when asked his opinion of Kleinendorst, who led the B-Sens to the organization’s first championship this season. “Obviously, he has a method of getting players to play extremely well. I think the players generally thought he was a good coach down there.”
Yet he lost out to Paul MacLean, who had the better resume.
“Obviously, winning is a big push, but you hire one coach and Paul had the edge because of his experience in the NHL,” said Murray. “And certainly the personality he brings to the table.
“Just being around him, you have the sense that this guy will make it work here.”
Murray said there’s no timetable on the naming of assistant coaches, but that the decision will belong to MacLean.
“He has to be comfortable with who he has,” said Murray. “I’m sure he’ll want to talk to (current Ottawa assistants) Rick Walmsley, Luke Richardson, and then we’ll see after that where he goes and who he calls.”
Said MacLean: “I wasn’t going to put the cart before the horse. It’s been a long time before I was able to stand here, so I wasn’t going to let someone else quiver on the line somewhere ... I’ve been that guy before.
“There’s a lot of qualified people that can be an assistant coach and having been one for six years, I understand how important that position is and how important it is to the head coach to get the right people.”
Could Kleinendorst wind up alongside MacLean behind the Ottawa bench? Possibly. He could also wind up with another organization.
“I hope, in a way ... if he gets a job interview with an NHL team, that would be fine,” said Murray. “I hope we don’t lose him. We love him for what he does and how he developed players.
“The impression I got at the moment is that he really likes running his own program. I think his one experience being (an assistant) in the league (he felt) he wasn’t very useful.”