The Ottawa Senators have had quite the coaching carousel this past decade. Some coaches were better than others. One coach in particular stands out more than others, in my opinion.
In my debut article for Sens Shot, I will be ranking all the 5 coaches the Ottawa Senators have had this past decade.
I will not be counting Marc Crawford, as he was an interim coach, and only coached a portion of a season.
5. Cory Clouston (2009-2011)
Clouston was originally promoted from the AHL team on an interim basis, however the team performed well under his command and he was hired on a full time basis. Clouston was an offence minded coach while his predecessor was a defensive oriented one.
His second season with the team was not up to par to his first season and was relieved of head coaching duties after an all time record of 95-83-20.
4. Guy Boucher (2016-2019)
When Pierre Dorion took the reigns as General Manager, he decided he wanted his own coach. After firing Dave Cameron, Dorion hired Guy Boucher, who brought a defensive system to a team who had played with an offensive system for the last few years.
Boucher’s system impressed in his first season, as the Ottawa Senators clinched the playoffs and made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. It all ended there and the Ottawa Senators missed the playoffs the following year.
Committing to a rebuild in Boucher’s final year of his contract, he was relieved of his duties with 18 games remaining in the season.
His final record was 72-71-21.
3. Dave Cameron (2014-2016)
After Paul MacLean was fired as Head Coach, his assistant coach, Dave Cameron was promoted to Head Coach. This was the year of resurgence of the Hamburglar. Dave Cameron was the coach for two seasons, the second being a massive disappointment.
Two days after Pierre Dorion was promoted to General Manager, he was let go as Head Coach of the Ottawa Senators. His record with the team was 70-50-17.
2. DJ Smith (2019-???)
This might be seen as premature, however I really like what Smith has done with the team. After Boucher was let go, Smith was hired in the offseason to lead the official rebuild. So far, the Ottawa Senators have definitely the surpassed expectations I had for them.
I personally predicted they would be the last seeded team for the entire year, and they’ve done better than that. The Ottawa Senators are playing competitive hockey every night, despite losing. This is the start of something nice, and I am very optimistic for the years to come.
Smith has found a way to make hockey fun again for the struggling Ottawa Senators franchise and fanbase. I would have DJ Smith as the greatest coach the team has seen this decade, but for me, it’s still a little too soon. DJ Smith is a good coach.
1. Paul MacLean (2011-2014)
Personally, I do not remember why MacLean was fired, but I liked him a lot as coach of the Sens. I really liked the game his Senators were playing.
He was nominated for the Jack Adams trophy two years in a row (2012 and 2013), winning it in 2013 I cannot comment much on what happened between he and the Ottawa Senators, because I do not know.
But for me, he was the greatest coach the Ottawa Senators have had this decade, and should be in the talks as one of the greatest coaches in Ottawa Senators franchise history.
To conclude, My pick for the best coach this decade for the Ottawa Senators is Paul MacLean. DJ Smith has grown on me since being hired, and I am excited to see what happens next.