OTTAWA (AP) -John Paddock was promoted to coach of the Ottawa Senators on Friday, taking over a team that made it to the Stanley Cup finals this past season.
The 53-year-old Paddock, who was the Senators' assistant coach the last two seasons, will be the sixth coach in franchise history. He takes over from Bryan Murray, who was promoted to general manager in mid-June.
"John is known and respected by our players and that was a big reason in his being named head coach," Murray said at a news conference. "I never considered John as an assistant coach. I considered him a partner."
Paddock was coach of the Winnipeg Jets from 1991-95, compiling a record of 106-138-37. He played right wing for three clubs - Washington, Philadelphia and Quebec - between 1975 and 1983.
"This is an extremely exciting day to have an opportunity to coach a team I've been associated with for five years," Paddock said.
Paddock became Jets coach in 1991, becoming the first Manitoba-born coach of that franchise. He later added the general manager post, and gave up his job as coach in early 1994. He remained as general manager even after the team relocated to Phoenix, keeping that job until December 1996.
Paddock said while he hoped to one day return to the NHL as a head coach, it wasn't a goal that consumed him.
"I'm not sure it's something you think about," he said. "It's something you hope for. I thought it would happen at some point but it if didn't, it didn't."