The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

It was back in late Oc­to­ber that Hamil­ton Bull­dogs as­so­ciate coach and as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager Troy Smith left the team to pur­sue an op­por­tu­nity out­side hockey.

On Mon­day, he re­turned to the game.

The 39-year-old Hamil­ton na­tive was in­tro­duced as the head coach of the Sag­i­naw Spirit, tak­ing a job that will be a ma­jor chal­lenge. The Spirit fin­ished near the bot­tom of the stand­ings in each of the past three sea­sons and has won just one play­off game since 2013.

Smith is a veteran of the On­tario Hockey League, hav­ing spent nine sea­sons in var­i­ous roles — in­clud­ing head coach — with the Kitch­ener Rangers prior to join­ing the Bull­dogs. He has also coached Canada in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Sag­i­naw had to find a new coach when their bench boss re­signed to take a job in the Amer­i­can Hockey League, just a cou­ple weeks ago.

The Spirit makes its lone trip to Hamil­ton to face the Bull­dogs on Dec. 9.

Troy Smith

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