Smith will replace former head coach Guy Boucher, who was fired March 1st following a six-game losing streak that cemented what kind of season it was for the Senators. Their record was 22-37-5 at the time of his firing, as they ended up in last place in the Atlantic Division at 29-47-6.
This is Smith's first head coaching gig in the NHL, but he did hold a similar position in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals for three seasons. He won the Memorial Title with them in 2015, along with the OHL Coach of the Year Award for the 2013-2014 season before joining the Maple Leafs as an assistant. He reportedly got the job over the likes of Patrick Roy and Jacques Martin, who both interviewed for it. The 42-year-old Smith is now the second-youngest coach in the NHL, only behind Jeremy Colliton of the Chicago Blackhawks. He is also the fifth coach in the NHL that started under Mike Babcock, who is still running things in Toronto, and will be facing yet another one of his former disciples in years to come.