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Senators fire head coach D.J. Smith

Dec 18, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith looks on during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators fired head coach D.J. Smith on Monday after an 11-15-0 start to his fifth season.

President of hockey operations and interim general manager Steve Staios announced that assistant coach Davis Payne also was relieved of his duties.

Smith, 46, compiled a record of 131-154-32 with no playoff appearances since taking over ahead of the 2019-20 season.

The remaining members of the coaching staff were retained, with Jacques Martin to serve as the interim head coach.

Daniel Alfredsson, the franchise’s all-time points leader, is joining Martin’s staff as an assistant coach, the Senators confirmed.

Martin, 71, previously coached Ottawa for nine seasons from 1995-2004. The 1998-99 Jack Adams Award winner has a 613-481-81 record with 119 ties in 1,294 games with the St. Louis Blues, Senators, Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens.

The Senators have been outscored 19-10 during their current four-game skid, including Sunday’s 6-3 road loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Ottawa has the fewest points (22) in the Eastern Conference. Only the Chicago Blackhawks (9-20-1, 19 points) and San Jose Sharks (9-19-3, 21 points) have worse records in the NHL.

–Field Level Media

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