Mike Yeo, Nolan Baumgartner added to Sens coaching staff

Alfie and Ben Sexton return as assistant coaches

Mike Yeo, Nolan Baumgartner added to Sens coaching staff
Photo by Adrià Crehuet Cano / Unsplash

The Ottawa Senators announced some additions to Coach Travis Green's staff today. Joining him as assistant coaches are Mike Yeo and Nolan Baumgartner. Assistant coaches Daniel Alfredsson and Ben Sexton are staying, as well as goaltending coach Justin Peters and video coach Mike King.

Mike Yeo was previously an NHL head coach for the Minnesota Wild (2011 to 2016) and the St. Louis Blues (2017 to 2018). He was also the interim head coach of the Flyers from December 2021 to May 2022. Most recently, he was an assistant coach with Vancouver under Bruce Boudreau and then Rick Tocchet, and announced just a week ago that he was stepping down. Nolan Baumgartner's was part of the Canucks organization, first as an assistant with the AHL's Utica Comets, then as an assistant under Green with the Canucks until Green was fired in 2021. He most recently was an assistant coach for the Manitoba Moose, the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets.

Alfredsson will maintain the assistant coach mantle he gained under Jacques Martin after DJ Smith's firing last season. He seemed to really enjoy the experience, and many players commented on the benefits of having a Hall of Famer behind the bench (though we'll see if he maintains powerplay duties). Sexton joined the big club as an assistant to start 2023-24, after being an assistant in Belleville for three seasons. Notably absent is other former assistant coach Jack Capuano, who survived the DJ Smith firing but is now no longer with the team.

Overall, I'm excited to see what Yeo brings to the table. Another young coach with NHL head coach experience will likely be a big plus for Travis Green. It's hard to know what to make of Baumgartner, as he likely was hired as a pal of Green, but it's hard to glean much about the capabilities of AHL assistant coaches anyway. And I think keeping Alfie and Sexton around as assistants will help to have some continuity, in getting the team to adjust to a new system and a mostly new set of voices. This was likely the easiest moves in a summer in which GM Steve Staios will now need to address, among other things, the team's goaltending, what to do with Jakob Chychrun, an extension for Shane Pinto, the likely acquisition of at least one top-four right-handed defenceman, and filling out the team's forward depth.

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