List of Ottawa Senators head coaches
The Ottawa Senators are a professional ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The team is a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Senators, named after the original Ottawa Senators, began play in the NHL as an expansion team in 1992. Having first played at the Ottawa Civic Centre, the Senators have played their home games at the Canadian Tire Centre, which was first named The Palladium, since 1996. The team has been to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 2006–07 season, but lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. The Senators are owned by Eugene Melnyk. Pierre Dorion is the team's general manager. The club currently has no captain. The current head coach is Marc Crawford, named as interim head coach on March 1, 2019, after the firing of Guy Boucher.
The modern Senators' first head coach was Rick Bowness. Bowness was a former NHL head coach for the Boston Bruins. Bowness coached for four seasons until November 1996, when he was fired by then-GM Randy Sexton, let go in a dispute over the playing time of Alexandre Daigle, who was not playing well. Bowness' successor, Dave Allison, the then-coach of the Senators' farm team the Prince Edward Island Senators of the American Hockey League (AHL) had no success with Ottawa. The club won only two of 25 games during his tenure. The club, in turmoil at the time, replaced GM Sexton with Pierre Gauthier, who fired Allison. Allison is the only person to have each spent his entire NHL head coaching career with the Senators.
One of Gauthier's first moves as GM was the hiring of Jacques Martin. Martin, who coached the Senators for nine seasons, is the franchise's all-time leader for the most regular-season games coached (692), the most regular-season game wins (341), the most playoff games coached (69), and the most playoff-game wins (31). Martin was the first Senators coach to win the Jack Adams Award, having won it in the 1998–99 season. Although the club had regular-season success with Martin, he never led the team to much playoff success, and he was fired after the team lost in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.
During Martin's tenure, the club hired Roger Neilson, a long-time NHL head coach, as an assistant coach. For the last two games of the 2001–02 season Neilson was officially made the head coach so that he could become the ninth head coach in NHL history to coach 1,000 games. Martin returned to head coach the team for the playoffs. Neilson would be the assistant coach for Ottawa for one more season, before succumbing to cancer in 2003. The club won the Presidents' Trophy in 2003 for the best regular-season record in the league and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils. Neilson is the only Senators head coach to have been elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame, elected as a builder.
Martin's successor was Bryan Murray. Murray, at the time of his hiring in 2004, was the general manager of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He joined the Senators to return home, having been born in nearby Shawville, Quebec. The first season of Murray's term was lost to the lockout, but when the team returned to play it continued its winning ways. Murray coached the team for two seasons, and the club made it to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, the modern Senators' first appearance in the Finals. After the Finals, Murray's contract to coach was due to expire. GM Muckler's contract had one more season to run and Muckler was expected to retire after that one further season. Rather than let Murray go, team owner Eugene Melnyk and team president Roy Mlakar decided to promote Murray to GM, replacing Muckler.
Murray promoted assistant John Paddock to head coach for the 2007–08 season. The club started well, but the team declined to the point where Murray fired Paddock after 64 games. Paddock's overall record of 36–22-6 was good, but the club was playing below .500 since a 15–2 start to the season, and there were controversies surrounding goaltender Ray Emery and Wade Redden. Murray returned to the bench to guide the Senators for the rest of the season and the playoffs, where the team lost in the first round.
For the 2008–09 season, the Senators made several personnel moves and chose Craig Hartsburg, a former NHL head coach, as head coach to promote 'accountability' on the part of the players. However, the team continued its sub .500 record and Hartsburg was let go after only 48 games with a record of 17–24–7.
Cory Clouston was named the head coach on February 2, 2009. Clouston was already a part of the Senators organization as head coach of the Binghamton Senators. Clouston served as head coach for two further seasons, before being fired on April 9, 2011. The team made the playoffs in his first full season of coaching, but slid to the bottom of the standings in his second season.
Paul MacLean was hired on June 14, 2011. MacLean, a former NHL player, had previously been an assistant coach with Anaheim and Detroit. MacLean had previously worked with Murray in Anaheim. During his term, MacLean was twice nominated for the Jack Adams Trophy for coach of the year, winning it for the 2012–13 season. MacLean was fired on December 8, 2014, and replaced by his assistant Dave Cameron.
After the 2015–16 season, in which the Senators failed to make the playoffs, Dave Cameron was fired and replaced by Guy Boucher. Boucher guided the club in its first season to a berth in the Eastern Conference Final, losing in overtime in the seventh game to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. In his second season, the team nosedived to 30th-place overall. In his third season, Boucher was fired prior on March 1, 2019, with the club in 31st-place overall. His associate coach, Marc Crawford was named as interim head coach.
|#||Number of coaches[a]|
|W||Wins = 2 points|
|L||Losses = 0 points|
|T||Ties = 1 point|
|OT||Overtime/shootout losses = 1 point[b]|
|*||Spent entire NHL head coaching career with the Senators|
|†||Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder|
Note: Statistics are correct through the 2017–18 season.
|3||Jacques Martin||1996–2002||528||246||191||91||583||.552||44||17||27||.386||1998–99 Jack Adams Award winner|||
|9||Paul MacLean*||2011–2014||238||114||90||35||263||.553||17||8||9||.471||2012–13 Jack Adams Award winner|||
- a A running total of the number of coaches of the Senators. Thus, any coach who has two or more separate terms as head coach is only counted once.
- b Before the 2005–06 season, the NHL instituted a penalty shootout for regular season games that remained tied after a five-minute overtime period, which prevented ties.
- c Each year is linked to an article about that particular NHL season.
- d Was made the head coach for the last two games of the 2001–02 season so he could become the ninth head coach in NHL history to coach 1,000 games, which he achieved.
- "Ottawa Senators Coach Register". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
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- "Jack Adams Award". NHL. Lincoln Hockey and the National Hockey League. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- Litsky, Frank (June 22, 2003). "Roger Neilson, 69, Innovator As Longtime Hockey Coach". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "List of honoured builders". Hockey Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Bulletin: Paul MacLean named Ottawa Senators head coach" (Press release). Ottawa Senators. June 14, 2011.
- "Rick Bowness Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Dave Allison Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Jacques Martin Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Roger Neilson Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Bryan Murray Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "John Paddock Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Craig Hartsburg Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Cory Clouston Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- "Paul MacLean Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- "Dave Cameron Coaching Record". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- "News Release: Guy Boucher named Ottawa Senators head coach". senators.nhl.com (Press release). Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- "Marc Crawford named interim head coach of rebuilding Ottawa Senators". senators.nhl.com (Press release). Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "Official Rules" (PDF). NHL.com. Lincoln Hockey and the National Hockey League. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 11, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2009.