The Toronto Maple Leafs have added another familiar name to their coaching staff, hiring Paul MacLean as an assistant today. MacLean most recently served as an assistant on the Columbus Blue Jackets bench, but is coming back to Ontario where he was head coach of the Ottawa Senators for four seasons.
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe released a statement on his new staff member:
Over nearly two decades as an NHL coach, Paul has filled every role on a coaching staff, winning a Stanley Cup and Jack Adams trophy along the way. Adding someone of Paul’s expertise and character to advise and assist our staff is something that we felt was very important as we seek to make tangible steps next season.
Ironically enough, MacLean actually served for several years in Detroit and Anaheim under former Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, who Keefe replaced last season. He has also worked with Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim, another name that was rumored to be in the mix for the Toronto staff. Instead, he’ll be the one joining Keefe, incumbent assistant Dave Hakstol and newcomer Manny Malhotra in Toronto.
MacLean is expected to be the “eye-in-the-sky” for the Maple Leafs according to Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, the role that Malhotra held for the Vancouver Canucks before coming to Toronto. In his only time as a head coach, MacLean actually took the Senators to the playoffs twice, posting a 114-90-35 record with the team. He took home the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year in 2013. He was also a star player in his day, recording 324 goals and 673 points in 719 career NHL games.
If you are wondering what kind of relationship MacLean and Keefe will have given the former’s experience as an NHL head coach, remember that Keefe’s long-time minor league and junior assistant A.J. MacLean is Paul’s son.