Fresh off a playoff elimination at the hands of the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Final, the Anaheim Ducks don’t seem content to stand pat this off-season. Changes are expected to come this summer, and the first news has come out already. Assistant coach Paul MacLean, whose current contract had come to an end, will not be retained. According to the team, it was a mutual parting of ways.
MacLean, 59, is a former NHL head coach and Jack Adams Award-winner, serving as the bench boss for the Ottawa Senators from 2011 to 2014, leading the team to the postseason twice in three (and a half) seasons. MacLean was fired by Ottawa midway through the 2014-15 campaign. MacLean joined the Ducks that off-season, working under Bruce Boudreau, whom he beat out for the Jack Adams in 2013. After Boundreau was fired and replaced by Randy Carlyle last year, MacLean was retained. However, the team has promised to shake things up and it appears that they felt the best move for the team was to move on from the veteran coach.
MacLean will certainly land on his feet. Beyond Ottawa and Anaheim, MacLean has an extensive coaching resume to lean on. MacLean had previously served as an assistant in Anaheim before, under Mike Babcock with the Mighty Ducks in the early 2000’s, and followed Babcock to Detroit as well. MacLean also has a long, successful history in the minor leagues where, if no NHL opportunities arise, he would surely be welcomed back. MacLean’s son, A.J., is also an assistant coach with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, so don’t rule out a move to Canadian major junior either. MacLean will be fine; the Ducks on the other hand are just beginning their re-tool and more news is sure to come this off-season.