Born in France due to his father serving as a Canadian Armed Forces member, Paul MacLean moved to Canada at the age of two, and has loved hockey every day since. You may know coach MacLean as the Ottawa Senators bench boss, and a certain candidate for the Jack Adams trophy, but there is a lot more to him.
Paul played junior hockey with the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL, which is just over the bridge from downtown Ottawa. He continued his playing career, and ultimately was drafted by the St.Louis Blues of the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. He went on to have a successful NHL career, racking up more than 650 points. He ended up playing some more pro hockey with the (old) Winnipeg Jets and the Detroit Red Wings.
He has also been successful off the ice as well. When he left the NHL at the end of the 1991 season, he did some scouting — but found his forte in coaching. In 1993, he was the head coach of the Peoria Rivermen. After bouncing around different coaching positions, he finally found a permanent spot in the NHL. He assisted the Anaheim Ducks, as well as the Red Wings. During the 2007-08 season, he won a Stanley Cup as an assistant to Mike Babcock and the Red Wings. Now, he currently represents the capital of Canada, as he is the coach for the “Pesky” Sens. In his first season, he was already a household name. He coached Ottawa to the playoffs, but did end up losing in the first round.
This season, he is currently stating his case for a Jack Adams trophy, and his team is miraculously winning without any of their top guys. Last season, Paul was nominated for the Jack Adams Award, and if he continues to lead Ottawa it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him win.
He is seen behind the Senators bench as a calm individual, and he even had his own impersonator behind him at a game. You also can’t forget that manly mustache. Right now, Ottawa fans love MacLean. He has found success, even if he has only been the head coach of Ottawa for one full season. After spending some time with other teams and being an assistant, it’s clear that he has what it takes to be one of the NHL’s top coaches.
GM Bryan Murray has found a gem in MacLean, and if MacLean can get Ottawa into the playoffs, he should be at least nominated for another Jack Adams.