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D.J. Smith of Oshawa Generals named Ontario Hockey League coach of the year

Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 12:24 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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D.J. Smith of Oshawa Generals named Ontario Hockey League coach of the year

TORONTO - D.J. Smith of the Oshawa Generals was named Ontario Hockey League coach of the year Wednesday.

He guided the club to a 90-point season in his second season as Oshawa coach. The Generals finished on top of the Eastern Conference standings with a 42-20-0-6 record and won their first East Division title since 1991.

"It is a great honour for me to win this award, it is less about winning the award and more about the respect given from other coaches and GM's around the league," Smith said in a release. "I owe this honour to Generals governor Rocco Tullio for giving me the chance to be a full-time head coach in the Ontario Hockey League and to general manager Jeff Twohey for believing in me and allowing me to coach.

"This team isn't coached by just me, even though I am the recipient of this award. I owe it to assistant coaches Paul McFarland and Roger Hunt who are two outstanding coaches and have helped me become the coach I am today."

Smith is the first Generals head coach to win the Matt Leyden Trophy since Paul Theriault took the honour in 1987. Erie's Kris Knoblauch finished second in the voting and Guelph's Scott Walker was third.

Smith will be formally presented with the award at the 2013-14 OHL Awards ceremony on June 3 in Toronto.

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The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres