The Ottawa Senators have found their bench boss. After an extensive search, the Canadian club has decided to give former Maple Leafs' assistant, D.J. Smith hist first shot to be the man behind the bench. He's signed for three seasons. Smith has spent the last four seasons in Toronto where he ran the team's defensive units and penalty-killing group. He comes to the Nation's Capital while being lauded for his communication skills and ability to strategize on the fly. He has witnessed success at the junior level where he won a Memorial Cup with the Oshawa Generals in 2015.
The Senators remain a team in flux. After having gutted their roster of virtually all highly-skilled players, they will need to come together and play a team-oriented and very defensively stringent style to be successful. This hire reinforces that. The organization has just one player signed for the 2021-2022 season. It's Bobby Ryan.
The telling question for this club moving forward will be whether they are able to extend Thomas Chabot long term when he becomes eligible on July 1st. The swift-skating defender was lights out in his sophomore season, recording 55 points in 70 contests. Will he be willing to put pen to paper on a long-term deal with so many red flags strung out across the organization? Can DJ Smith help convince him to do so? We'll have to wait and see.
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