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Paul MacLean fired by Senators

The Senators have fired head coach Paul MacLean and have promoted assistant coach Dave Cameron.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Paul MacLean has been fired by the Ottawa Senators, the team announced on Monday afternoon. Assistant coach Dave Cameron has been named the team's head coach.

MacLean was entering the first year of a three-year contract extension and was only a couple of years removed from winning the 2013 Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year (he had also been nominated for the award in 2012). The Senators have been on a downward trajectory since, missing the playoffs last season and limping to a slow start this season.

The team is currently in seventh place in the eight-team Atlantic Division with 27 points in 27 games.

Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted that rumors were circulating that Cameron had been informed of a promotion this morning and stated that the Senators couldn't fire MacLean last week because of the tribute ceremonies to Daniel Alfredsson. Dreger explains that owner Eugene Melnyk and general manager Bryan Murray met with MacLean on Friday and gave him an understanding of where he stood in the organization.

Dreger believes Melnyk was looking for the right time to fire MacLean.

A day after the meeting, MacLean expressed that he was "scared to death" when thinking about the opponents the Senators were playing, as well as being "scared to death" about who he was playing, meaning the players on the Senators' roster. This sentiment likely had something to do with the decision to fire MacLean on Monday, even though the Senators completed a come-from-behind victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

MacLean amassed a record of 140-90-35 in 238 regular season games as Ottawa's head coach.