Five Things We’ve Learned about the Ottawa Senators in 2022-23

OTTAWA, CANADA - MARCH 27: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his second period goal against the Florida Panthers with his teammate Derick Brassard #61 at Canadian Tire Centre on March 27, 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, CANADA - MARCH 27: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his second period goal against the Florida Panthers with his teammate Derick Brassard #61 at Canadian Tire Centre on March 27, 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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DJ Smith has GOT to Go

I’ll start this by saying I hate wishing for a guy to lose his job. That’s not the way I want to be talking about this, so I’ll say it this way. I hope that Smith gets an opportunity to coach elsewhere in the league where his style will benefit a different type of team.

Smith has coached this team for 4 seasons now and is currently second all-time in franchise wins. He’s also one of ONLY three coaches to be behind the Sens bench for 4 or more seasons, behind Paul MacLean and Jacques Martin. Another stat; DJ is currently the seventh longest-tenured head coach in the National Hockey League. The truth is, Head Coaches are hired-to-be-fired in the NHL and DJ has unfortunately reached the end of his shelf life in Ottawa in my opinion. There are several options I’d consider to replace him, such as Rickard Gronborg or Patrick Roy.

I will add, I don’t want him gone just to want him gone. I think he’s helped develop the young core greatly, but this team is not in the need of a player’s coach who will hold their hands anymore. This young group of men needs someone who can get the best out of them, and I don’t think DJ Smith is that guy. I’m sure he will get another opportunity in the NHL because he is a good coach. I just think he’s done his time with this team and it’s time to move on.