The Ottawa Senators have inherited a lot from the Toronto Maple Leafs recently. Players such as Connor Brown, Tyler Ennis, Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev all made their way to Canada’s capital after stints with the Buds.
Behind the bench, the team’s new head coach D.J. Smith arrives to town having been an assistant with the Maple Leafs. And as has been the case in Toronto since 2016, Ottawa will also go without a captain during the 2019-20 season, Smith said in an interview with Wayne Scanlan of Sportsnet.
No, we’re not [naming a captain this year]. The captain will emerge in time. I think the biggest thing is that we will allow the older guys to mentor these younger guys and blunt the blow until we turn the corner here. After a tough night, I don’t want the young guys having to answer all the questions. The veterans and myself are going to answer to it.
The club hasn’t had a player wear the “C” on his jersey since Erik Karlsson’s departure following the 2017-18 season.
This is a wise decision by Smith. By all accounts, Ottawa is a youthful team that is undergoing a full rebuild. The only long-tenured veterans remaining on the roster are Bobby Ryan, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Borowiecki, and the team clearly doesn’t feel comfortable with naming one of those three as the de facto leader. Additionally, it seems unnecessary to appoint one of the club’s budding talents as the captain during what should be a trying year.
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