On December 8, 2014, the Ottawa Senators were coming off a come-from-behind overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks. They promptly fired their head coach, Paul MacLean, and promoted assistant Dave Cameron to head coach. At that point, most weren't happy with the decision. Cameron was known to be a friend of Melnyk's. He was known for having three disappointing seasons in Binghmaton, and for coaching a Canadian World Junior team that relinquished a 3-0 third period lead to lose to the Russians 5-3 in the gold medal game. His main success had been at the junior level, and most weren't sure he'd be able to repeat it here. However, Bryan Murray insisted that there was no interim tag on Dave Cameron. He was expected to be the coach for the next couple seasons at least.
We all know how Cameron's season went. He ended up coaching the Sens to the greatest comeback to make the playoffs in NHL history. He made interesting decisions such as scratching veterans Chris Phillips, David Legwand, and even Chris Neil in the playoffs. Some point out that a lot of his decisions were lucky - injuries not allowing him to play Neil or Zack Smith, a suspension forcing Jared Cowen out of the lineup. Still, he was willing to play the young guys in prominent roles, and the results speak for themselves. Ottawa's improvement both in record and in possession was astounding. Erik Karlsson is a Norris candidate. Mark Stone is a Calder candidate. Mike Hoffman led rookies in goals (despite a confusing late-season demotion to the fourth line).
Full disclaimer: there are no signs Ottawa will ditch Cameron. This is just a curiosity question. Do you think the Sens should keep Dave Cameron? Is he an above-average NHL coach, or did his late-season adjustments show he's in over his head? Let us know in the comments!