After a short hiatus from the NHL, former Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith has returned to the ice, this time as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings. His swift transition again to the league comes amid a tumultuous season for the Kings, who’re striving for a playoff berth.
Smith, 46, who was relieved of his duties by the Senators in December, wasted no time in accepting the Kings’ supply to hitch the teaching employees underneath interim head coach Jim Hiller. Regardless of not securing a contract extension and successfully working on the ultimate yr of his take care of the Senators, Smith eagerly embraced the chance to work with a workforce pushing for postseason rivalry.
“Having been in hockey my entire life, I can not simply sit idly by. I wish to be within the thick of the motion,” Smith remarked from Los Angeles, emphasizing his need to stay actively concerned within the sport.
The invitation from the Kings got here straight from Normal Supervisor Rob Blake, a former teammate of Smith’s with the Colorado Avalanche. Blake reached out to Smith shortly after Todd McLellan was relieved of his teaching duties, providing him a job alongside Hiller.
Smith’s resolution to hitch the Kings underscores his dedication to the sport and his need to contribute to a workforce striving for fulfillment. Regardless of the absence of long-term assurances, Smith is optimistic concerning the alternative to educate within the playoffs, given the Kings’ present standing within the Pacific Division and the Western Convention.
His familiarity with Hiller, stemming from their time collectively on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ teaching employees, provides a component of consolation to Smith’s new function. Their shared historical past and prior collaboration in Toronto have laid the inspiration for a productive partnership in Los Angeles.
Whereas Smith might have opted for a extra relaxed method following his departure from the Senators, he selected to grab the prospect to return to teaching. His fast reentry into the NHL teaching sphere displays his unwavering dedication to the game and his relentless pursuit of success on the highest stage.
As Smith prepares to face formidable opponents like Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, his presence on the Kings’ teaching employees alerts a renewed sense of goal and dedication. Along with his confirmed observe report of management and dedication to excellence, Smith’s return to the NHL guarantees to be a big asset for the Los Angeles Kings as they navigate the rest of the season.