He is taking over an up-and-coming Ontario Hockey League team that is on the cusp of success. To be sure, Troy Smith is stepping into a good situation as the new head coach of the Saginaw Spirit.
HockeyNewsNorth.com has confirmed the imminent hiring of the 39-year old Smith, a former OHL defenseman who despite his relative youth, has 10-plus seasons of experience as a coach in the league. Smith will be officially introduced as the new Saginaw head coach on Monday.
A four-year OHLer as a defenseman with the Detroit/Plymouth Whalers, Smith went on to play five seasons at St. Francis Xavier University. After a brief minor pro career, Smith returned to the OHL as a coach and has since put up a decade of experience behind the bench.
After seven seasons as an assistant coach in Kitchener, Smith was promoted to head coach of the Rangers before being let go after two years as bench boss.
Smith has since spent a season-and-a-half as an associate coach with the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
Going to Saginaw, Smith takes over from Spencer Carbery, who served one season as Spirit head coach before taking an assistant coach position with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League two weeks ago.
Under the direction of third-year general manager Dave Drinkill, Saginaw is seen as a team on the rise in the OHL.
And as the new head coach of the Spirit, Smith will bring his years of OHL coaching experience and working with young players to Saginaw.