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Cameron ready to face Ottawa

Assistant coach Dave Cameron will face his former team for the first time on Friday

by George Johnson @GeorgejohnsonCH /

CALGARY, AB -- Rather than come out swinging, Dave Cameron was deftly dipping, dodging and ducking, effortlessly sliding away from potential trouble like a young Muhammad Ali.

"I enjoyed my time in Ottawa. I enjoyed the city. And I enjoyed working with the players,'' is as far as the former Ottawa Senators' head coach would go, with a tango against his old employers pencilled in on the dance card Friday at 7:00 PM MT at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"As I said, I have a lot of fond memories of being there. But one of the first things you learn in this profession is that you're not going to in one place forever.

"Any time you coach a team, what makes it really unique and makes life in general unique is that there's a lot of personalities.

"It's all those different personalities that make the world go 'round. There's not one player there that I didn't have fun with or enjoy coaching.

"But you coach the players you have. I'm in Calgary now and we're going to do everything we can to beat them."

Cameron - added to Glen Gulutzan's Calgary Flames' staff on July 6th - was dismissed in the nation's capital along with assistants Andre Tourigny and Rick Wamsley on Apr. 12, two days after Pierre Dorion assumed the Ottawa managerial reins from Bryan Murray.

He'd been promoted to the top job in Ottawa following Paul MacLean's firing early in 2014-2015. The Senators put on late charge to reach the Eastern Conference's Sweet 16 the next spring.

But last year, his first full season in charge, the Senators finished only three games above .500 and 11 points adrift of a postseason slot.

Ex-Tampa Bay boss Guy Boucher has taken control in nation's capital now, with Marc Crawford back from his Swiss sojourn to act as associate coach.

Gulutzan, of course, understands what Cameron will be going through Friday, his having gone from head coaching in Dallas to facing the Stars as an assistant in Vancouver early in the 2013-14 season.

"I've been in that situation,'' said Gulutzan. "And you really want to get it. I don't want to make it a focal point but you really want it."

The Senators arrive at the 'Dome sporting an encouraging 4-2 record.

Cameron and the Flames, meanwhile, are encouraged after vital wins on back-to-back nights in Chicago and St. Louis.

"To win in this league,'' said Cameron, "you have to play a certain way. There's no easy games but we needed some points and to win in two of the toughest buildings in the league against two of the best teams … it helps points-wise in the standings but more importantly it helps your confidence and reinforces the knowledge that if you play the way you're supposed to, good things will happen.

"There's no magic involved.

"You have to play the right way and we played the right way."

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