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Could This Former Bruins Coach Be the Leading Coaching Candidate for Ottawa?

Published December 22, 2023 at 5:56 PM
BY MICHAEL CHRISTIAN
The Ottawa Senators have been a mess this year despite have plenty of talent on the team. With players like Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Thomas Chabot, Jakob Chychrun, and Jake Sanderson, all entering the prime of their careers, and adding in veterans such as Claude Giroux, Vladimir Tarasenko and Dominic Kubalik, one would think this team should be able to compete to much more than their 11-17 record. They are currently in last place in the Atlantic division and on a six-game losing streak. Streaks such as this and continual underperformance has caused owner Michael Andlauer to clean house. Most recently the firing of Head Coach D.J. Smith and longtime General Manager Pierre Dorion.

This leaves a head coaching position open, which unlike some other clubs in the league, can be seen as desirable. With the core the Senators have put together, the right coach should be able to come in and put a better product on the ice, especially assuming you have another high draft pick coming this offseason if the team does not turn things around quickly in a very competitive Eastern Conference.


Enter former Bruins Assistant coach for their record-breaking season last year John Gruden. After spending last year with the Bruins, he has coached the Toronto Maple Leafs minor affiliate the Toronto Marlies to a 13-7-4 record and first place in the AHL North Division. Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli has named Gruden as number one on Ottawa's list of potential head coaches. Gruden has led OHL Hamilton Bulldogs to league championship in his time there as head coach in 2016-2018. He has a pedigree for winning and could be the one for the job in Ottawa. Seravalli lists former Edmonton Oilers Coach Jay Woodcroft and former Minnesota Wild Coach Dean Evason as the next most likely coaches in line.


Source: ProHockeyRumors
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