In his fifth season coaching the Ottawa Senators, D.J. Smith faces mounting criticism as the team has failed to make the playoffs under his leadership. Despite a roster boasting considerable talent, including players like Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Drake Batherson, Tim Stutzle, Jake Sanderson, and Thomas Chabot, the Senators have consistently disappointed. The team’s current 8-9-0 record after 17 games this season has fueled calls for Smith’s dismissal.
Frank Seravalli on Real Kyler & Bourne on SN: “Every piece of intel that I can gather is the Sens don’t have any interest in making a coaching change, that they’re trying to stabilize their situation with all the drama that has existed this season”
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the team was initially seen as a playoff contender before the start of the season. However, the underwhelming performance has led many to question whether D.J. Smith should continue as the head coach. Despite the calls for change, the organization, under new ownership and with a new president of hockey operations, seems hesitant to part ways with Smith immediately.
While some argue that, for the sake of the team and its principal, the Senators should make a coaching change, the prevailing sentiment within the organization appears to favor a wait-and-see approach. This stance, however, has left fans frustrated, as the evident underutilization of young, promising players raises concerns about the team’s future.
Expect the @TheWHL to make a major announcement tomorrow. Industry sources suggest, Dan Near, a Global Executive with @adidas, and a familiar name in all hockey circles, will be named as longtime commissioner, Ron Robison’s successor.
With the team’s potential and fan expectations at stake, the need for a significant change in leadership becomes increasingly apparent. The organization must address the persisting issues to salvage the season and give talented players a chance to experience playoff success.