James Guillory - USA TODAY Sports

Ottawa Senators fire D.J. Smith, name Jacques Martin interim head coach

The Ottawa Senators announced today that they have relieved D.J. Smith as head coach after his fifth season with the team, along with his assistant coach, Davis Payne.

In the same press release, the team announced that they have named Jacques Martin the interim coach and that Senators legend Daniel Alfredsson will join his staff.

Smith, 42, was in his fifth season with the team and leaves with a 131-154-32 record over his tenure. The Senators were supposed to take a step forward this year, but instead they sit last in the Atlantic Division with an 11-15-0 record, losers of four straight after last night's defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights.

As of this writing, Money Puck only grants the Senators a 19 percent chance of righting the ship and making the playoffs, the 10th-worst mark in the NHL.

Martin, the man tasked with making that happen, has experience with this team, having coached them from 1996 to 2004. It's been some time since his last step behind an NHL bench though, as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers in the 2020-21 season.

In parts of 17 seasons as an NHL head coach, Martin has amassed a 613-481-119-81 regular season record and 50-61 in the postseason. He's yet to win a Stanley Cup as a head coach, but he was an assistant on the 2015-16 and 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins teams that won the sport's ultimate trophy.

The Senators next game is tomorrow night, visiting the Arizona Coyotes at 4 PM Eastern.

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This article is about:
NHL Ottawa Senators NHL Daniel Alfredsson Jacques Martin Davis Payne D.J. Smith
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