After a rocky start to the 2023-24 season, the Ottawa Senators announced today that they've relieved Head Coach DJ Smith of his duties.
In May of 2019, the Ottawa Senators hired Smith to take on their rebuilding roster. Known as a "player's coach" who was praised for his abilities to communicate with players, the Memorial Cup winning coach seemed like a great fit for the young Senators. Through 317 games behind the bench, Smith's Senators amassed a 131-154-32 record.
After a summer of transactions which set high expectations, the Senators sit dead last in the Eastern Conference and are in the midst of a four game losing streak.
As outlined in the press release, Smith will be replaced, on an interim basis, by newly hired coaching advisor Jacques Martin. Daniel Alfredsson will also join the Senators bench for the remainder of the season.
Update (9:15 EST):
Steve Staios had a Zoom session with the media to explain the decision and what he's looking for from Jacques Martin and Daniel Alfredsson: