OTTAWA -- John Paddock won't have to move far when he takes
over as coach of the Ottawa Senators.
Paddock was promoted to the job of head coach Friday after two
seasons as the Senators' assistant coach, taking over a team that
made it to the Stanley Cup finals this spring.
The 53-year-old Paddock will be the sixth coach in franchise
history. He takes over from Bryan Murray, who was promoted to
general manager in mid-June.
"John is known and respected by our players and that was a big
reason in his being named head coach," Murray said at a news
conference. "I never considered John as an assistant coach. I
considered him a partner."
Paddock was coach of the Winnipeg Jets from 1991-95, compiling a
record of 106-138-37. He played right wing for three clubs --
Washington, Philadelphia and Quebec -- between 1975 and 1983.
"It's an extremely exciting time when you become a head coach
in the National Hockey League again," Paddock said. "I don't look
at it as a difficult transition. This hockey team has been
successful and has the same solid core of players. We're not
looking to reinvent the wheel by any means, we're just looking to
continue and have a successful season."
Paddock became Jets coach in 1991, becoming the first
Manitoba-born coach of that franchise. He later added the general
manager post, and gave up his job as coach in early 1994. He
remained as general manager even after the team relocated to
Phoenix, keeping that job until December 1996.
Paddock also has been an assistant GM with Philadelphia and
director of pro scouting with the New York Rangers. While he hoped
to one day return to the NHL as a head coach, it wasn't a goal that
"I'm not sure it's something you think about," he said. "It's
something you hope for. I thought it would happen at some point but
it if didn't, it didn't."
Paddock talked to some Senators players before deciding to take
"He's been around the game a long time and he's done
everything," defenseman Wade Redden said. "He's a good hockey
man, a smart hockey man. Obviously, he's going to treat us
differently (than when he was an assistant), but he's an honest