|John Paddock has a discussion with an official during regular-season action in 2006-07. Paddock promoted to head of coach of the Senators last week. (A. Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC) |
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray says he always considered John Paddock to be more than just an assistant coach.
So it was a logical decision when Murray's search for his own replacement behind the bench resulted in Paddock's promotion to the head-coaching role vacated when Murray moved upstairs to the GM's chair on June 18.
“I never considered John an assistant coach, I considered him like a partner,” Murray says about introducing the 53-year-old Paddock as the sixth coach in Senators history on July 6. “I treated him as a head coach or my partner in the business.”
For that reason, the Senators anticipate the transition to be a smooth one for the Stanley Cup finalists.
“We got spoiled a bit this year and, with that said, we want to continue,” Murray says.
“I think it's an extremely exciting time for myself, and we hope to continue the excitement for myself and the organization,” Paddock adds. “I don't expect there to be any major change. We're not looking to reinvent the wheel, by any means.”
Paddock last coached at the NHL level in 1995 with the Winnipeg Jets, but he's been a head coach for 18 professional seasons and has been involved with the Senators for the past five, giving him plenty of experience and in-depth knowledge of the franchise.
Nine members of last season's squad played under the Oak River, Man., native with the Senators' American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, whom Paddock coached for two seasons before serving as co-coach with Dave Cameron during the lockout. The last two seasons, he's been a big part of the setup in Ottawa.
“He’s been around the game a long time and he's done everything,” Senators defenceman Wade Redden says of Paddock, who has served as player, coach, assistant coach, GM, assistant GM and director of professional scouting at the NHL level. “He's a good hockey man, a smart hockey man.”
Paddock, who coached the Jets for four seasons, will be joined by some familiar faces on his staff since assistant Greg Carvel, strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee and video coach Tim Pattyson are all back.
Paddock says he's currently on the hunt for another assistant. The Senators are also still looking for a coach for Binghamton.
Meanwhile, the Senators did add a couple of new faces — new at least to the organization — the day before Paddock's promotion.
Tim Murray, the 43-year-old son of Bryan Murray’s brother, Barrie, joined the organization as its assistant GM from the New York Rangers. Bryan Murray also had Tim, a fellow Shawville native, on his staff in Detroit, Florida and Anaheim.
Brent Flahr also arrives in Ottawa as the team's new director of hockey operations. The 33-year-old native of Courtenay, B.C., spent the last four seasons as an amateur scout with the Ducks and worked with Bryan Murray in Florida and Anaheim.