Ottawa continued its off-ice transformation today, naming former players Jason Smith and Shean Donovan to new roles with the the team.
Things continue to be busy in Ottawa's hockey ops department. On Monday the team announced the promotion of Jim Clark to chief pro scout in addition to other scouting hires. On Tuesday, the team announced a four-year extension of its agreement with its minor league affiliate, the Binghamton Senators as well as a new, two-year agreement with the Evansville IceMen of the ECHL.
Today, Ottawa announced two hockey ops moves involving former Sens players:
Ottawa Senators (@Senators) September 11, 2014
Les #Sens ajoutent de Jason Smith au personnel d’entraîneurs de l’équipe : http://t.co/opvkOBSQNp— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) September 11, 2014
While keeping former players in the fold is nothing new, Smith's promotion (he'd previously worked for the organization as a scouting and development consultant) is particularly interesting. Lauded as a defensive defenseman during his playing days, he'll now be tasked with the responsibility of improving Ottawa's defensemen. After Ottawa's defense was exposed in its own end throughout 2013-2014 campaign, many Sens fans, including me, advocated for the hiring of a defensive specialist coach to improve matters (think Craig Ramsay). That task has now been entrusted to Smith. Hopefully he can work some of Luke Richardson's AHL magic with the NHL team's defense. Smith's NHL career suggests he has the expertise to succeed in this role but time will tell.