December 8, 2014 / 6:53 PM / 3 years ago

Ottawa fire head coach MacLean, Cameron takes over

(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.

Nov 12, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean follows the action in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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

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