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(Reuters) - The struggling Ottawa Senators fired head coach Paul MacLean and replaced him with assistant coach Dave Cameron, the National Hockey League team said on Monday.
The move to dismiss the former coach of the year comes with the Senators sitting in seventh place in the eight-team Atlantic division after an 11-11-5 start to the NHL's 2014-15 season.
"I think there's an obligation for a lot of people to perform better, the players included," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said during a news conference.
In his first year as an NHL coach, MacLean led the 2011-12 Senators to an 18-point improvement over the prior campaign, got the team to the Eastern Conference quarter-finals and won the Jack Adams Award as the league's best coach.
MacLean guided the Senators to the conference semi-finals a year later but missed out on the postseason last year. He leaves Ottawa with a 114-90-35 overall record.
Cameron, 56, will be behind the Ottawa bench for their next game on Thursday at home versus the Los Angeles Kings.
A former player who spent three seasons in the NHL with the Colorado Rockies and New Jersey Devils, Cameron had been serving as the assistant coach in Ottawa since 2011.
Cameron, a former head coach in the Ontario Hockey League and American Hockey League, was behind the bench for Canada's national junior team during the 2010-11 campaign and won a silver medal at the 2011 world junior championship.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Keating