- Jacques Martin (ice hockey)
Jacques Martin (born
October 1, 1952in St. Pascal, Ontario, Canada) is the former head coach and current general manager of the Florida Panthers ice hockeyteam of the National Hockey League. Martin is a career coach who never played a game in the NHL. While in his playing years, Martin played with Mike Keenanfor the St. Lawrence University Skating Saints.
He served first as a coach of the
Peterborough Petesin the Ontario Hockey Leagueand then with the Guelph Platers(where he won a Memorial Cupin 1986) before being briefly promoted head coach of the St. Louis Blues of the NHL. Martin only served a short while in that position and became an assistant coach of the Quebec Nordiques. When the franchise moved to Denver and became the Colorado AvalancheMartin remained and won a Stanley Cupwith the team as assistant coach in 1996.
Ottawa Senators, a struggling expansion team with a very poor overall record, needed a new head coach in 1996 they hired Martin. Martin led the team to great regular season success (341–255–96), winning the Northeast Division three times and the President's Trophyonce. Martin was thrice nominated for the Jack Adams Awardfor top NHL coach and won it in 1999.
An unfortunate mar on Martin's record was a long period of performing below expectations in the playoffs, although his supporters maintained that the Senators lacked playoff experience. He finally was able to find productivity in the postseason during the 2002 campaign, when the Senators reached the second round and came within one game of the conference finals. He had most successful postseason in 2003 where the Senators reached game seven of the Eastern Conference finals. After a disappointing 2003–2004 season and an inglorious first round exit from the playoffs Martin was fired. He had been the longest serving coach in the NHL and has turned around a franchise that had gotten off to an awful start as an expansion team.
Martin is a defense first coach who relies on playing a tight defensive game. He made good use of the speedy young talent on Ottawa, and also instills defensive discipline. Despite his reputation as a defensive coach, Ottawa was amongst the top few teams offensively in his last years there. Martin is not a very extroverted coach and is usually soft spoken and lacking much of the fire and charisma of other noted NHL coaches. However, he is still well respected.
May 26, 2004, Martin was hired as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers, along with his friend Mike Keenanas the new general manager. Martin assumed general manager duties with the resignation of Keenan on September 3, 2006. On March 3, 2007Jacques Martin coached his 1,000th career NHL game in a 6–2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a classy move during the 2002 season, while he was head coach of the Ottawa SenatorsJacques Martin stepped away from the bench for 2 games, allowing Hall of Famer Roger Neilsonto take the reins and become the ninth man to coach 1,000 career NHL games. As of April 1, 2007, Martin has coached 1009 NHL games, winning 498 for a 47.3% winning percentage and tied for the tenth winningest coach in NHL history.
After three seasons serving as the Panthers head coach, the team announced on April 11, 2008 that Martin would not be back as the bench boss for the upcoming
2008–09 NHL season. He will stay as the Panthers general manager.
Every summer for over 20 years Jacques has run the [http://www.jacquesmartinhockey.com Jacques Martin Hockey School] for kids age 7 - 17 in Rigaud, Quebec.
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