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Senators coach Cameron signs two-year contract

by Chris Stevenson

Dave Cameron signed a two-year contract as coach of the Ottawa Senators, general manager Bryan Murray said Thursday. The two sides had agreed to terms June 4.

The Senators went 32-15-8 this season after Cameron replaced Paul MacLean on Dec. 8, including a 23-4-4 finish to overcome a 14-point deficit and earn the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Ottawa lost to the Montreal Canadiens in six games in the Eastern Conference First Round.

"I think [the coaching change] opened a lot of lanes for young players in particular," Murray said. "The young guys got a chance to play. Dave wasn't afraid to take a veteran out if he had to. In some cases it was injury, but in a couple of cases he just put other guys in and played them, and it gave them a chance to grow and there was some excitement because of that.

"I think the style he coached, too, opened the door to more skating, more aggressive forechecking, better puck skills. We spent a lot of time on that in practice. That made us a better hockey team."

Cameron, 56, had joined the Senators as an assistant under MacLean in 2011.

An eighth-round pick (No. 135) of the New York Islanders in the 1978 NHL Draft, Cameron scored 25 goals and 53 points in 168 games with the Colorado Rockies and New Jersey Devils.

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