Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Senators GM Strikes Quickly as Head Coach Dave Cameron Is Fired

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Senators GM Strikes Quickly as Head Coach Dave Cameron Is Fired

Article excerpt

Senators fire head coach Dave Cameron

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OTTAWA - Pierre Dorion wasted no time making his first move as general manager of the Ottawa Senators.

Head coach Dave Cameron and assistants Andre Tourigny, Jason Smith and Rick Wamsley were all fired Tuesday, just two days after Dorion took over as GM from Bryan Murray. Smith was offered another position within the organization.

Ottawa missed the NHL playoffs after posting a disappointing 38-35-9 record.

Cameron completed his first full season as Ottawa's head coach, posting a 70-50-17 overall record. He also spent three years as an assistant coach with the club and has a year remaining on his contract.

Cameron, 57, was the 11th coach in franchise history. He took over as head coach Dec. 8, 2014 after the struggling team fired Paul MacLean.

The Senators made an improbable run to the post-season after Cameron took over, qualifying for the playoffs in their final regular-season game. Ottawa finished 23-4-4 over its final 31 games, making up a 14-point deficit.

After taking the favoured Montreal Canadiens to six games in the first round of the 2014-15 playoffs, the Senators were expected to build on their success and repeat as a playoff team this season. Instead, they were plagued by injuries and inconsistent play and took a significant step back.

Tuesday's moves weren't surprising as the coaching staff wasn't invited to participate in player exit meetings Monday.

"This is not a great day and it's not a fun day," Dorion told reporters. "They are all good people.

"It was tough for me to do on a personal level and on a professional level."

Ottawa has had a coaching carousel since Bryan Murray left following the 2006-07 season. The club has gone through six head coaches, including Murray's brief stint in 2008 after John Paddock was fired.

Dorion said ideally a new head coach will be in place come the NHL draft in June but won't hesitate to wait if the right candidate isn't found by then.

"This is huge," he said. "I just need to make sure I make the right decision.

"Probably (of) anything that we do in the next few years, this will (have) the biggest impact on the team so we're going to take our time. …

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