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Senators management 'patient for the time being' on Smith

D.J. Smith D.J. Smith - The Canadian Press

It appears Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith is not yet on the hot seat.

The Senators sit last in the Eastern Conference with 16 points this season, but TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports the team's new ownership is not itching to make a coaching change.

"No, not at this point and I know that’s not what Senators fans want to hear," Dreger said on Insider Trading. "I would say that the patience will imminently begin to wear thin if things don’t turn around.

"D.J. Smith dove on the sword after the loss to the Panthers. Whether you enjoyed old-school shenanigans or not, it’s at least evidence that the players still care. They played hard, and were literally in the fight against the Panthers.

"Management vows that they are patient for the time being."

The Senators, who lost a second straight in Monday's penalty-filled 5-0 defeat to Florida, have played a league-low 17 games this season. Ottawa has six games in-hand on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are within the playoff picture, nine points ahead of them. 

New team owner Michael Andlauer has already made one firing since taking over in the fall, letting general manager Pierre Dorion go after the team was docked a first-round draft pick stemming from trading Evgenii Dadonov in 2021. 

Steve Staios, who was brought in as president of hockey operations earlier this season, is currently serving as interim general manager. 

After a slow start, Ottawa's schedule heats up starting on Friday with 12 games in 23 days before the holiday break. 

Following a road trip to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, the Senators will host the Seattle Kraken on Saturday before four-game stretch against current Eastern Conference playoff teams – the New York RangersToronto Maple LeafsDetroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes