NHL: Ottawa Senators Snag Paul MacLean from Detroit Red Wings as Head Coach

Matt HutterAnalyst IJune 13, 2011

DETROIT - OCTOBER 28:  Head coach Mike Babcock and assistant coach Paul MacLean of the Detroit Red Wings watch play against the Phoenix Coyotes during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on October 28, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

While the Detroit Red Wings await word from Nicklas Lidstrom as to his playing future, another unexpected exit from Detroit has occurred in the interim.

Assistant coach Paul MacLean is expected to be announced as the Ottawa Senators new head coach on Tuesday, according to tsn.ca.

MacLean's exit is unexpected, though not altogether shocking, as he has been serving under Mike Babcock since Babcock joined the Red Wings as head coach in 2005.

Last month, Babcock's other assistant, Brad McCrimmon was not offered an extension on his contract and agreed to part ways with the team.

Shortly after this announcement, defenseman Brian Rafalski unexpectedly announced his retirement from the NHL despite have one year remaining on his contract.

While the largest void in Detroit could potentially be the one left by a retired Nicklas Lidstrom, having to fill two coaching positions as well as a No. 2 defender slot is going to create a very busy summer for GM Ken Holland.

MacLean's departure for a head coaching slot is not at all surprising, as he's enjoyed a great deal of success in Detroit over the past six seasons, including a Stanley Cup Championship in 2008.

Like his former partner, Todd McLellan, who left to fill the San Jose Sharks head coaching position immediately after that 2008 Stanley Cup win, MacLean is more than ready to move his career forward by taking the helm in Ottawa.

The Senators largely underperformed last season, missing the postseason for the second time in the past five seasons.

MacLean's work in Ottawa is going to be considerably tougher than it was for McLellan in San Jose, as he will not be inheriting a superstar lineup looking for a Stanley Cup.

MacLean is likely going to oversee a rebuild of sorts in Ottawa, and given his championship experience in Detroit, he's more qualified than most to do just that.

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