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Ottawa Senators name former Maple Leafs assistant coach DJ Smith as new head coach

The Ottawa Senators announced Thursday that they have named former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach D.J. Smith as the team’s new head coach.

According to the organization, Smith has agreed to a three-year deal with the Senators.

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Smith has spent the last four seasons with the Maple Leafs, and before that, he led the Oshawa Generals to a Memorial Cup title in 2015.

Smith is also a former player who appeared in 45 career NHL games as a defenceman with the Maple Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche.

A native of Windsor, Ont., Smith played junior hockey with the Spitfires from 1994-97.

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“D.J. Smith is a winner. We believe he is the best person to drive the development and success of the Ottawa Senators,” said general manager Pierre Dorion in a release.

“D.J. is a great communicator and an exceptional strategist. His passionate approach, coupled with his ability to teach the game, is exactly what we were looking for throughout the process. We’re thrilled to welcome D.J. and his family to Ottawa.”

Smith is the 14th head coach in the team’s history and takes over the position from interim head coach Marc Crawford, who replaced Guy Boucher after he was fired near the end of last season.