Senators owner gives MacLean vote of confidence

Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean talks to the media during locker-clean-out day at the Canadian...

Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean talks to the media during locker-clean-out day at the Canadian Tire Centre on April 14, 2014. (Darren Brown/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:48 PM ET

The coach will be back.

The future of the captain is not so certain.

Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk told reporters in a conference call Tuesday he expects to make the playoffs every year and is having a difficult time getting over his disappointment this season.

Though he’s willing to forgive coach Paul MacLean for “a bad year,” top centre Jason Spezza could be getting a change of scenery because this team will not look the same next year.

“Watching the playoffs from the sidelines is not where we planned to be,” said Melnyk. “Making the playoffs every year is what I expect.

“It’s what everyone in our organization expects. I push everyone hard to deliver on that for our fans. Bryan and I have already had discussions on what we need to do going forward. There is no magic bullet, but changes will need to be made.”

The No. 1 change is expected to involve Spezza. The Senators will likely shop him around before the NHL entry draft in Philadelphia. As reported by the Sun, the asking price is player who can help right now, a top prospect and No. 1 pick.

“Jason understands what his role was, and is,” said Melnyk. “He’s a professional. He understands you’re here today and could be gone tomorrow. Everybody in pro sports understands that.

“You could go long-term and stay with the team for many, many, many years. In fact, your whole career. We have a few of those players. It’s very dependent on what other pieces we have to put together. At the end of the day, he’s just one of 20-plus players that participated this year and we just didn’t get it done.”

Melnyk started the call by giving MacLean, who is heading into the first season of his three-year extension, a vote of confidence and ensured he will be back next season.

“I can assure you: Paul is our coach and he’s going to be our coach going into next year,” said Melnyk.


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