Paul MacLean's rounds with the media continued on Tuesday, sitting down with Wayne Scanlan at the revamped Ottawa Citizen
. It looks like they're going to stretch some of his responses over a few days. but I found a couple of his answers interesting.
As always, I encourage you to read the entire article. This exchange was worth parsing into this space:
Q: GM Bryan Murray, in his wrap-up address, said the players preferred the “Old Paul.” Who is “Old Paul” in your view.
A: I’m not sure exactly what that means, either, but I felt, in conversations that I had, that going into a third season with the team, we had to make a conscious effort to be more demanding of how we wanted things done. I still believe that is the case, but there are different ways to do that, and we maybe chose the wrong way to do that, in making it a more demanding situation. It comes down to the communication part of it, and I think that was the part that they’re talking about, is that we were demanding but weren’t communicating the same way, or as much, or as often as we did in our previous two seasons. And that was the part where it got interrupted, I guess, or the message got interrupted.
Q: Who will the “Next Paul” be?
A: Who knows? But I think the most important thing you have to do in this business, or in this job, is be yourself. I have to come in here everyday and be myself. When you’re trying to be something that you’re not, that’s never going to work. I have to find that way of getting what we feel we need from our players to be successful and do it in a way where I’m being myself.
This is something that's been talked about an awful lot over the last month, but the front office never really expanded on the point. They say MacLean's style of coaching changed, and that the players preferred the "Old Paul" over the "New Paul". It sure seems like MacLean doesn't feel he changed much -- I mean, he more or less said in this passage that he wasn't entirely sure what Bryan Murray meant when he delivered those comments.
I do think MacLean believes that he was more demanding this season, though, and that perhaps he was too demanding
with his roster at times. I think there's an interesting balance coaches must strike with their players, and I'm sure it varies from individual to individual. Some guys probably react better when the coaching staff is hard on them, others not so much.
Whatever the case is, Paul MacLean being 'demanding' ranks extremely low on my list of complaints with his performance this season. His deployment and ice-time allocation were much more objectionable.
If Bryan Murray wants Paul MacLean to change for the better, I'd hope that he starts there. It seems like a much more sensible turf to fight on, anyway.