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Senators sign Adams winner MacLean to extension

Thursday, 07.04.2013 / 8:48 PM / News

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Senators sign Adams winner MacLean to extension
The Ottawa Senators have signed Jack Adams Award winner Paul MacLean to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

The Ottawa Senators have signed Jack Adams Award winner Paul MacLean to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

"I thought the commitment that we made to go three more years is really a confidence thing," said MacLean, who had one year remaining on his current deal. "At the same time, I was prepared to just do my job. But this is what I wanted and we're really excited about it."

MacLean has led the Senators to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his first two seasons as coach. He is 66-48-16 and was named the League's top coach in 2012-13 after leading an injury-ravaged team to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference (25-17-6). Ottawa upset the second-seeded Montreal Canadiens before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We thought we made, in the last two years, major steps here in rebuilding this franchise, and a big part of that was the coaching staff," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said. "I'm happy Paul has agreed to stay along for the ride here. Our ambition is to get better as we go forward, and he'll be a big part of that."

MacLean also was a finalist for the Jack Adams after his first season, when the Senators were 41-31-10 and eighth in the East.

"In order to be a good coach, you need good players," MacLean said. "And the opportunity here in Ottawa gives me a chance to work with good players and it gives us a chance to coach. ...

"I just feel it was a great opportunity for me to come here in the first place, and I still think that's what it is, it's the best place to be," he added.

Before joining the Senators, MacLean was an assistant to Mike Babcock with the Detroit Red Wings for six years and the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks for two seasons. They won the Stanley Cup together in 2008 with Detroit.

"Paul represents what we want to become as both a hockey club and as a franchise," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said. "He is a hard-working coach and an outstanding teacher and mentor of the game. Paul's ability to communicate openly and honestly with our players and prospects has been key to our on-ice success. He came to us with a history of winning and has instilled that same winning mindset with our players and our coaching staff."

The Senators' nucleus of players includes defenseman Erik Karlsson, forward Jason Spezza and goaltender Craig Anderson.

"We really feel with the number of good young players that we have, that we're a team that's on the rise," MacLean said. "I'm very proud to be able to stay here and continue to do the work that we've done in building us year by year to being a championship-caliber team."

Ottawa finished 13th in the Eastern Conference the season before MacLean arrived.

"If you can keep a good coach, it certainly helps everything happen around it," Murray said. "That's the focal point of most every team. If you have somebody to take charge, gets the players to buy in and believe in what can happen, then obviously you have a chance every year."

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