Photo credit: The AHL

Ottawa Senators To Poach Toronto Head Coach After Firing DJ Smith

Published December 19, 2023 at 1:37 PM

The Ottawa Senators are looking to potentially poach this Toronto Head Coach after firing DJ Smith yesterday.

Toronto Marlies Head Coach Frontrunner for Senators Opening

With the firing of DJ Smith, the Ottawa Senators are on the hunt for their next Coach. That will come with a lot of pressure, as the Senators have the pieces they need to make the jump to a competitive team, but haven't yet been able to do so.

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, Toronto Marlies Head Coach John Gruden is the current frontrunner for the position.

"If you're looking for a front­runner, league executives have told Postmedia in the last couple of weeks that the top candidate may be John Gruden, who was named the head coach of the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies (the top farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs) before the start of the season."

Gruden is a former Senators Defenseman, which gives him an extra leg up on his competition, being familiar with the organization already.

Gruden Not Yet Coached in the NHL Despite Being Leading Candidate for Senators Job

Gruden has never coached in the NHL, however, he has a ton of experience, coaching at the OHL level, and being an assistant in the NHL for the Islanders for a period of time as well as the Bruins last season, where they had one of the best seasons in NHL history.

There will be a lot of scrutiny on whoever eventually gets the Sens job, as they have a tall task in front of them, bringing the Senators back into relevancy.

As seen on Blade of Steel - "Ottawa Senators Trying to Poach Next Coach from Toronto Maple Leafs System"
December 19   |   86 answers
Ottawa Senators To Poach Toronto Head Coach After Firing DJ Smith

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