Optimizing the Ottawa Senators Coaching Staff for the 2023-24 Season

In the dynamic world of hockey, the Ottawa Senators are gearing up for the 2023-24 season with a revamped coaching staff. Let’s take a closer look at the individuals who will play pivotal roles in shaping the team’s destiny.

Meet the Assistant Coaches

Davis Payne: Shaping the Future

As the first assistant coach for the Senators, Davis Payne brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. With a solid track record, Payne is poised to guide the team to success.

Bob Jones: A Veteran’s Insight

Bob Jones, another assistant coach, is no stranger to the world of hockey. His extensive experience makes him a valuable asset for the Senators, ensuring that the team is well-prepared for any challenge.

Jack Capuano: The Associate

Jack Capuano, serving as an associate to the head coach, is a seasoned strategist. His previous stints with the New York Islanders and the Florida Panthers have honed his skills, making him an essential part of the coaching staff.

Specialized Expertise

Zac Bierk: The Goaltending Guru

Zac Bierk takes charge as the goaltending coach, a critical position in any hockey team. With his expertise, he aims to sharpen the Senators’ goaltenders and solidify their defense.

Michael King and Evan Mathias: The Video Analysts

The duo of Michael King and Evan Mathias assumes the role of video coaches. Their attention to detail and analysis skills will help fine-tune the team’s strategies and performance.

Player Development

Shean Donovan, Wade Redden, and Jesse Winchester

The Senators have selected Shean Donovan, Wade Redden, and Jesse Winchester as player development coaches. Their task is to nurture the talent within the team, ensuring a bright future for the Senators.

Strength and Conditioning

Rob Mouland and Jeremy Benoit: The Fitness Gurus

Rob Mouland and Jeremy Benoit oversee the strength and conditioning of the team. Their dedication to fitness will play a crucial role in maintaining the players‘ peak physical condition.

Aiming for Success

After a disappointing 2022-23 season, Senators fans are eagerly anticipating a turnaround in the team’s performance. With these experienced coaches at the helm, the franchise is determined to make its 32nd NHL season in 2023-24 a memorable one.

D.J. Smith: Leading the Charge

D.J. Smith has been the head coach of the Senators since May 23, 2019, and his leadership is expected to continue into the 2023-24 season. His proven track record and dedication to the team’s development make him the ideal candidate to lead the Senators to success.

A Coach of Winners

Pierre Dorion, the franchise’s General Manager, expressed confidence in Smith’s abilities, stating, “D.J. Smith is a winner. We believe he is the best person to drive the development and success of the Ottawa Senators.”

Smith’s contract was extended for two more years on July 28, 2021, ensuring his presence for the upcoming season.

A Journey to Success

Before joining the Senators, Smith gained experience with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2015-19, working as an assistant coach. His tenure with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, where he achieved remarkable success, marked the beginning of his coaching career.

As a player, Smith had a brief but notable stint in the NHL, playing 45 games with the Maple Leafs and the Avalanche from 1996 to 2002.

Ottawa Senators Coaching Staff: The Dream Team

The Senators boast a formidable coaching staff for the 2023-24 season. Here’s a summary of the key personnel:

#Coaching StaffPosition
1Jack CapuanoAssociate Coach
2Davis PayneAssistant Coach
3Bob JonesAssistant Coach
4Zac BierkGoaltending Coach
5Michael KingVideo Coach
6Evan MathiasAssistant Video Coach
7Shean DonovanPlayer Development Coach
8Wade ReddenPlayer Development Coach
9Jesse WinchesterPlayer Development Coach
10Rob MoulandHead Strength and Conditioning Coach
11Jeremy BenoitStrength and Conditioning Coach
Ottawa Senators Coaching Staff

Each member of this coaching dream team brings unique skills and experience to the table, creating a formidable force focused on the Senators’ success.

Jack Capuano: A Decade of Dedication

Jack Capuano, the associate coach, joined the Senators in 2019 after serving the Florida Panthers for two seasons. His impressive coaching career includes over a decade with the New York Islanders, where he achieved three playoff appearances, including a 2013 post-season berth.

Davis Payne: A Journey of Growth

Davis Payne, an assistant coach since July 1, 2019, brings a wealth of experience. He previously worked as an associate coach for the Buffalo Sabres and spent five seasons with the LA Kings as an assistant coach, helping them secure a Stanley Cup win in 2014.

Zac Bierk: The Goaltending Specialist

Zac Bierk took on the role of Ottawa Senators’ goalie coach in April 2021. His experience with the Arizona Coyotes and his contribution to the Oshawa Generals’ Memorial Cup win in 2015 make him a valuable addition to the coaching staff.

Ottawa Senators Coaches Through History

The Senators have a rich coaching history, with notable figures leaving their mark on the franchise:

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

Notable mentions include Jacques Martin’s successful stint that led to the team’s first post-season in 1996–97 and Paul MacLean, who became a finalist for the Jack Adams Award in 2012 and 2013.

Pierre Dorion: The Architect

Pierre Dorion, the General Manager of the Ottawa Senators since April 10, 2016, plays a crucial role in shaping the team’s future. He has climbed the ranks within the organization, starting as the chief amateur scout in 2007.

Dorion’s contributions have earned him accolades, including being a finalist for the NHL’s GM of the Year following the 2016-17 campaign. His role encompasses overseeing all aspects of player evaluation, contract negotiations, and managing the team’s scouting staff.


With this well-rounded coaching staff in place, the Ottawa Senators are poised to make strides in the 2023-24 NHL season. Under the leadership of D.J. Smith and the guidance of these experienced coaches, the franchise aims to leave behind the disappointments of the past and chart a path to success. As the Senators embark on their 32nd NHL season, fans can look forward to an exciting journey led by the passionate and dedicated coaching staff.

Austin Taylor

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