The Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff may not be very popular right now among the Toronto Maple Leafs' fan base, however it seems like other organizations in the National Hockey League still have plenty of respect for the job they have done behind the bench.
According to a breaking news report from TSN National Hockey League insider Pierre LeBrun it now appears that the Ottawa Senators are looking to interview a member of the Leafs coaching staff as part of their coaching search. LeBrun reports that he is "hearing" that the Ottawa Senators intend to speak with Leafs assistant coach DJ Smith, presumably with the intention of potentially hiring Smith as their head coach moving forward. The move should not come as a huge surprise given just how well respected Smith is around the National Hockey League, and not only among management either.
The National Hockey League Players Association conducts an annual poll of it's members and asks them a variety of questions. Questions like which current assistant coach at the National Hockey League level should become an NHL head coach? The answer may surprise you but it was Smith who received the most votes in this category. Although this is not a scientific measure of someone's coaching abilities, there's no question that a poll of this nature is something you could point to during a job interview.
Smith of course is best known for the man behind the bench of the 2015 Oshawa Generals, a team that would go on to defeat Connor McDavid and his Erie Otters for the OHL's Championship that season, and all of that before going on to capture the Memorial Cup. The Memorial Cup is viewed by many as the most difficult trophy to win in all of hockey, even more difficult than the Stanley Cup according to some, so this is no small feat on the part of Smith. Add to that the fact that Smith is a former NHL player in his own right who had his career cut short by injuries and you've got quite the hockey pedigree.
One more factor here that could appeal to the Ottawa Senators, and especially owner Eugene Melnyk. Smith has no experience as an NHL head coach, which means the team would likely not have to pay top dollar in order to get him.