NHL Teams

Ottawa Senators Assistant Coaches and Coaching Staff 2023-24

By Kapil Sapkota / 8 September 2023 03:28 AM

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Ottawa Senators assistant coaches for 2023-24 are Davis Payne and Bob Jones. Jack Capuano serves as an associate to the head coach.

Zac Bierk is the goaltending coach of the Senators, while the duo of Michael King and Evan Mathias perform the video coach role for the team.

Moreover, the franchise has selected Shean Donovan, Wade Redden, and Jesse Winchester in the role of player development coach. Rob Mouland and Jeremy Benoit oversee the strength and conditioning of the team.

Failing to advance to the playoffs in the 2022-23 season, the Senators fans were not happy last year. The franchise is going to play its 32nd NHL season in 2023-24 and would look to put on a much-improved display under the captaincy of Brady Thachuk.

Ottawa Senators Head Coach

D.J. Smith has been in the position of Senators head coach since May 23, 2019, replacing the former interim head coach Marc Crawford.

"D.J. Smith is a winner. We believe he is the best person to drive the development and success of the Ottawa Senators," said the GM of the franchise, Pierre Dorion after hiring Denis Joseph Smith.

Initially, the Senators signed Smith to a three-year contract and extended it for two years on July 28, 2021, and he will be leading the team for the 2023-24 season.

In advance of his coaching tenure with the Senators, Smith worked for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2015-19. He joined the Leafs franchise as an assistant coach to the newly hired head coach, Mike Babcock.

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Previously, Smith worked for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League as head coach from 2012-15. During his first season in 2012-13 with the Generals, he led the team to finish the Eastern Conference third earning a record of 42-22-4.

In the next season, Smith was awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as the OHL Coach of the Year. The 2014-15 season was the best season of the Generals with Smith.

They were the top team in the Eastern Conference during the season. The Generals won the J. Ross Robertson Cup and the 2015 Memorial Cup.

Smith's coaching career started with the Windsor Spitfires in 2005. He was selected as an assistant coach of the team and eventually promoted to associate coach during the 2010-11 season.

As a player, Smith played in 45 NHL games with the Maple Leafs and Avalanche from 1996 - 2002. He was drafted by the New York Islanders.

Ottawa Senators Coaching Staff

The complete list of the Senators coaching staff is summarised in the table below:

Coaching StaffPosition
Jack CapuanoAssociate Coach
Davis PayneAssistant Coach
Bob JonesAssistant Coach
Zac BierkGoaltending Coach
Michael KingVideo Coach
Evan MathiasAssistant Video Coach
Shean DonovanPlayer Development Coach
Wade ReddenPlayer Development Coach
Jesse WinchesterPlayer Development Coach
Rob MoulandHead Strength and Conditioning Coach
Jeremy BenoitStrength and Conditioning Coach

Jack Capuano

Capuano was selected as an associate coach of the Senators on June 6, 2019. He served the Florida Panthers for the previous two seasons.

Jack was on the coaching panel of the New York Islanders for over a decade from 2005-17 and spent parts of seven seasons as the head coach of the team

Capuano holds a record of 227-192-64 as the head coach of the Islanders and led the team to three playoff appearances. The team secured a 2013 post-season berth, which was its first since 2007.

Before the Islanders, he worked as an assistant coach for the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks of the ECHL. He became the head coach of the Pee Dee Pride in 1997.

Davis Payne

Payne has been serving the Ottawa NHL franchise as an assistant coach under head coach, D.J. Smith since July 1, 2019.

Prior to his coaching job with the Senators, he had worked as an associate coach for the Buffalo Sabres from 2017 through 2019.

The Canadian coach spent five seasons with the LA Kings as an assistant coach. Payne helped the Kings to win the Stanley Cup in 2014.

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He started his coaching career as the head coach with the Pee Dee Pride of the ECHL in 2000. Payne began coaching the team through the 2003 season and the team posted a record of 104-67-17 in his lead.

In his next season in the ECHL, he joined the Alaska Aces as the head coach. Payne led the team to the Kelly Cup Championship in 2005/06.

Zac Bierk

Zac Bierk was selected as the Ottawa Senators goalie coach on April 6, 2021. Previously, he worked for the Arizona Coyotes as a goaltender development coach.

Bierk became the goalie coach of the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2013-14 season. He helped the team win the Memorial Cup in 2015.

As a player, Bierk appeared in 47 NHL games with the Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, and Tampa Bay Lightning throughout his 7-year playing career from 1997 to 2004.

Bierk completed his career with a record of 9–20–5, 3.18 Goals Against Average, and an impressive 0.901 save percentage with a shutout.

Ottawa Senators Coaches History

The following table portrays the coaching history of the Senators franchise:

Head CoachesTerm
1. Rick Bowness1992 - 1995
2. Dave Allison1995 - 1996
3. Jacques Martin1996 - 2002
4. Roger Neilson2002 - 2002
5. Jacques Martin2002 - 2004
6. Bryan Murray2005 - 2007
7. John Paddock2007 - 2008
8. Bryan Murray2008 - 2008
9. Craig Hartsburg2008 - 2009
10. Cory Clouston2009 - 2011
11. Paul MacLean2011 - 2014
12. Dave Cameron2014 - 2016
13. Guy Boucher2016 - 2019
14. Marc Crawford2019 - 2019
15. D.J. Smith2019 - present

Rick Bowness is the first head coach of Ottawa Senators since the franchise joined the National Hockey League as the expansion team in 1992.

The Senators' performance in the league was not really very strong during his tenure with the franchise. However, the team was on the path of steady improvement.

The longest-serving head coach in the Senators' history to date is Jacques Martin. The Canadian coach led the franchise from 1996 to 2004.

The Sens saw huge improvements and success under the tutelage of Martin. He led the team to their first post-season in the 1996–97 season.

Following the 1998–99 season, the team was at the top of the Northeast Division with a record of 44–23–15, and Martin won the Jack Adams Award as the best head coach in the NHL.

Martin led the team to its very first Presidents' Trophy in the 2002-03 season. They posted a 52-21-8-1 record, the best in the NHL that season. 

The following season, the Senators became the Stanley Cup finalist for the first time in history. However, they lost it to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Paul MacLean had his first NHL head coaching career from 2011 through 2014 with the Senators franchise. He became a finalist for the Jack Adams Award in the years 2012 and 2013, winning it in the latter.

Before his time with the Senators, MacLean was working for the Detroit Red Wings, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in the 2007-08 season.

Dave Cameron served the Sens from 2011-16. Initially, Cameron was hired as an assistant coach and was promoted to head coach in 2014.

During the 2014-15 season, Dave led the team to the Stanley Cup playoffs. He finished his career with the Senators with a record of 70-50-17.

Ottawa Senators General Manager

Pierre Dorion has been working as the GM of the Ottawa Senators since April 10, 2016. He is a successor to former GM Bryan Murray.

Before finally being promoted to general manager, Dorion worked from 2014-16 as assistant GM. His journey with the franchise began in July 2007 when he joined as the chief amateur scout for the team.

After serving the club for two years in that position, Dorion was named the team's director of player personnel. He spent four-plus seasons with the team as the director of player personnel before he was selected as an assistant general manager of the team on January 13, 2014.

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Dorion was selected as a finalist for the NHL's GM of the Year following the 2016-17 campaign, quite an achievement at the very first stint.

He is the seventh general manager of the Ottawa franchise. The Senators have signed two contract extensions with Dorion in 2018 and 2021. 

Being a general manager of the franchise, Dorion is responsible for leading the day-to-day hockey operations component of the team. Moreover, he oversees the professional and amateur scouting staff of the Senators.

He is also accountable for managing every aspect of the evaluation of players inside and outside the franchise, across all levels. He has to perform the contract negotiations for NHL and AHL free agents.

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