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Cory Clouston had a strong season-and-a-half as Ottawa's coach, but was fired after the Senators floundered in 2010-11. ((Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press))

Cory Clouston is returning to the Western Hockey League as coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Clouston was fired by the Ottawa Senators in April after a disappointing season in which the club went 32-40-10. The Senators had won 44 games in 2009-10, making the playoffs.

The 41-year-old had succeeded Craig Hartsburg as coach of Ottawa late in 2009-10 after serving as the coach of their American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton.

Kelly McCrimmon, extremely successful as Brandon's coach since 2004, said it was the right time to concentrate more on his duties as general manager and owner of the Wheat Kings.

"Coming to Brandon and joining the Wheat Kings is a great fit … both hockey-wise and for me and my family," Clouston told the team's website. "The Wheat Kings have always been one of the most respected teams in junior hockey and having the opportunity to work with Kelly is something that I’m really looking forward to."

Clouston coached the Kootenay Ice between 2002 and 2007, with the club reaching the playoffs in five consecutive seasons.

The Wheat Kings won 50 regular season games last season, the most in McCrimmon's tenure, but couldn't get past the third round of the WHL playoffs.

Brandon hosted the Memorial Cup in 2010, but was drubbed in the final by Windsor.