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The start of the Ottawa Senators season has been an absolute disaster from top to bottom. The off-ice drama has stolen most of the spotlight, although the on-ice show hasn’t been pretty either. The team has already moved on from GM Pierre Dorion, and it seems like the writing may be on the wall for coach DJ Smith as well. Check down below for everything you need to know about the off-ice future, as well as the injury update for Ridly Greig.
DJ Smith On The Hot Seat
After starting the season with a 4-6 record through the first ten games, fans are justifiably furious with DJ Smith and the Senators. The team has far too much talent to have started the season as poorly as they have. Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stützle have spoken out about their frustrations with fans, and the pot is boiling in Ottawa.
On Saturday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Ottawa Senators were booed off the ice by fans. Chants rang throughout the arena during the game as well, “Fire DJ.” The frustrating aspect of this game was not just the loss but the lack of fight in the Senator’s team. The second period was abysmal for the Sens. They fought hard in the third, but it was ultimately too little too late, which has been a common theme in this young season.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, Lalimes Martian on Twitter released some rumours he has been hearing. After being the first to report on the Dadonov situation, history may repeat itself as he has commented on rumours regarding Smith.
This tweet was put out ahead of the Ottawa Senators’ brutal game against the Lightning. If this week is truly make or break for DJ, he isn’t off to a great start.
Potential Ottawa Senators Coaching Replacements
Claude Julien’s name has been thrown around as a potential candidate to bring in if DJ Smith is released. Julien has spent time in the past coaching the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. He received the Jack Adams award back in the 2008-2009 season with the Bruins and also won a Stanley Cup in the 2011 Playoffs.
Patrick Roy has been another name rumoured in and around with the Senators. Roy is one of the greatest NHL goaltenders ever, although his coaching career has been volatile. Roy, too, won the Jack Adams award in the 2014 season, although he found himself out of the NHL just two seasons later following an off-ice conflict with Joe Sakic.
The most recent name connected to the list of potential coaches in Ottawa is John Gruden, Toronto Marlies Head Coach. Gruden is a former Michael Andlauer/Steve Staios employee, as he coached the Hamilton Bulldogs from 2016-2018. In just two years, he brought an OHL Championship to the city of Hamilton. Gruden then joined the NHL as an assistant coach for the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins from 2018/2019 until 2022/2023. He is now the head coach of the Toronto Marlies in the AHL.
Shawn Horcoff Added To Candidate List For GM
After discussing some potential GM candidates last week, Shawn Horcoff has been added to the mix. Horcoff is currently an assistant GM with the Detroit Red Wings. To nobody’s surprise, Horcoff has a history with the Sens front office as he was a teammate with POHO, Steve Staios. If Andlauer has shown anything so far, he likes to bring in people he knows and trusts. Keep an eye on Horcoff in the GM race.
Ridly Greig Injury Update
After having an incredible start to his season, Ridly Greig went down with a lower-body injury against the Los Angeles Kings. Greig’s injury is listed as “lower body,” although his body language leaving the ice made it appear like it was either his foot or ankle he had hurt. Although the team hasn’t given an overly specific timeline for Greig, we do know that he will miss a noticeable amount of time.
DJ Smith confirmed that Greig was “doubtful” for the team’s next few games following the loss to LA. Reading between the lines, I would be hopeful for a return by next weekend for Greig against the Calgary Flames. We should receive some more updates this upcoming week regarding Ridly Greig.
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