The struggle for MacLean came in his own zone. The team's game had fallen to a sad state and it was apparent after he left that the strategies implemented by his successor Dave Cameron worked, as the team made a berth into the playoffs eventually losing in the first round.
MacLean was infamous for his "in your face" coaching style and Bryan Murray pointed out there had been an "uneasiness" in the locker room as certain players would get singled out a little too often.
One thing he did do, was have success in Ottawa. In the three and a half seasons he was there, he led the team to winning 55% of their regular season games, and two playoff berths in his first two years.
His first season as the Senators coach in 2011-2012 was capped off with a nomination for the Jack Adams (Ken Hitchcock won that year) and a berth into the first round of the playoffs where they lost to the New York Rangers in seven games.
Greg Wyshynski pointed out how the firing of MacLean is a reflection of the battle between "coaching vs. construction":
In the "coaching vs. construction" debate over a team’s lack of success, this is about construction. This isn’t to say Bryan Murray has done a poor job, but it’s like asking an accomplished chef to create a four-star meal with some quarters for the vending machine. And as anyone that’s seen that Quickfire Challenge on "Top Chef" knows, that ain’t easy.
This leads us to where we are today, and the news from Elliotte Friedman:
EDM is another team that has asked for permission to talk to former OTT head coach Paul MacLean.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 22, 2015
The relationship between MacLean and the Oilers new bench boss Todd McLellan goes back ten years to when they served as assistant coaches under Mike Babcock in Detroit between 2005 and 2008, where they won Lord Stanley's Cup in 2008.
The fact that MacLean would consider coming to Edmonton would be fantastic. All this is is another chance for the Oilers to bring in smart minds to help accent the group we already have.
At the time the Oilers don't have any interviews scheduled with MacLean, but things could change quickly as McLellan looks to round out his coaching staff.
The truth is that there are no longer any vacant head coaching positions, and the openings could be few come next summer. Would MacLean want to help build something special and win another cup?