The Senators are going to be bringing back coach Dave Cameron next season, as reports say he has signed am extension to continue as Ottawa’s bench boss.
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, Cameron and Ottawa agreed to a two-year deal Thursday afternoon. Signing the deal means the Senators, and Cameron, get to see if they can recapture the magic that saw them become one of the NHL’s hottest teams down the homestretch of the regular season.
Cameron landed the job as Senators coach on Dec. 8 after the team relieved Paul MacLean, the 2012-13 Jack Adams Award winner, of his duties.
"We believed at the start of the year we had a chance to be a playoff team,” Senators GM Bryan Murray said after the team fired MacLean. “By doing it at this time, I think … that gives Dave a chance to get this team skating more, playing the way he wants them to play, better, a chance to take a run at a playoff spot, for sure."
Before letting go of MacLean, the Senators stumbled out of the gates to an 11-11-5 record just one year following a season in which they missed the post-season. With the playoffs looking uncertain again, the team went in a different direction with Cameron and it almost immediately paid dividends.
Over Cameron’s first five contests, Ottawa won three, but it wasn’t until February things really took off for the Senators. From Feb. 18 to March 23, under Cameron’s tutelage and with the help of goaltender Andrew Hammond, who was playing the best hockey of his career, Ottawa won 15 of 17 games and made an incredible push for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
At the end of the season, Cameron had posted a record of 32-15-8 as the Senators bench boss, and he helped the club push their first-round series against the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens to six games.
Before becoming the coach of the Senators, Cameron had spent four seasons as an assistant for MacLean. Prior to coming to the NHL, however, Cameron spent four years with the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and three years coaching the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
Along with the report of Cameron staying on in Ottawa, Garrioch also reported that an extension for current Binghamton coach Luke Richardson should be coming relatively soon. He was considered a candidate for the job with Buffalo, but with former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma locking up the Sabres gig, Richardson is expected to be back in the AHL next season.