Skip to content
Senators eye John Gruden as head coach
The Senators finally made the decision to show D.J. Smith the door earlier this week.

We’ve also learned that Jacques Martin will take his place behind the bench (on an interim basis) while we look for a new man to trust.

The search has already begun, and it seems that one name in particular is attracting a lot of attention in the nation’s capital at the moment. And no, it’s not Patrick Roy or Claude Julien.

According to Kevin Dubé in a recent text, the Sens “have their eyes set” on John Gruden, currently head coach of the Toronto Leafs’ training club, the Marlies.

Gruden has experience behind the bench of an NHL team, but not as a head coach.

He worked as an assistant for the Islanders from 2018 to 2022 and spent the 22-23 season in the Bruins organization, again as an assistant coach.

Would he be the right choice knowing that, in Ottawa?

I ask because the Senators’ roster is young and needs coaching. They need a guy who can lead the club and guide the youngsters to success.

To do that, it’s going to take leadership, and it’s going to take someone who’s not afraid to be tough to make his voice heard.

That’s what’s been missing from the Sens in recent years: the management wasn’t adequate and the message wasn’t getting through.

It reminds me a little of the Jay Woodcroft situation in Edmonton. Like D.J. Smith, Woodcroft was well-liked in the players’ room… But the tide turned after Kris Knoblauch was hired, because the players started to get stirred up.

In Brief

– I’m impressed!

– You can’t make this stuff up.

– Mats Zuccarello is injured.

– It’s a bummer for the young man.

– All the better.

More Content