8/31/20 | 9:05PM: David Quinn told Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic that Martin will run the Rangers defense and PK and said that it’s important to have someone on the staff who has gone deep into the playoffs and won a Stanley Cup.
Quinn also said that Mike Sullivan didn’t look at Martin as one of his assistants, but more as his “co-coach.” Quinn said that he felt Lindy Ruff played the same role with him. (The Athletic)
1:02PM: The Rangers have officially named Jacques Martin as assistant coach.
From the Rangers release:
- Martin joins the Rangers after spending the past seven seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization (2013-14 – 2019-20), including parts of the last five seasons as one of the team’s Assistant Coaches (from Dec. 12, 2015 through the conclusion of the 2019-20 season
- Prior to joining the Rangers, Martin has served on a coaching staff and/or in a front office position with an NHL team for three decades. He has spent parts of 17 seasons as a head coach in the NHL with St. Louis (1986-87 – 1987-88), Ottawa (1995-96 – 2003-04), Florida (2005-06 – 2007-08), and Montreal (2009-10 – 2011-12), and he has posted a 613-481-119-81 record (.551 points percentage) in 1,294 career games as a head coach in the NHL.
- Martin ranks 20th on the NHL’s all-time wins list among head coaches, and he ranks 14th on the NHL’s all-time games coached list among head coaches. He is the Senators’ all-time leader in games coached (692), wins (341), playoff games coached (69), and playoff wins (31) among head coaches. In addition, Martin is the Panthers’ all-time leader in wins by a head coach (110), and his 246 games coached with the Panthers are tied for the most by a head coach in franchise history.
- He also served as Florida’s General Manager for three seasons (2006-07 – 2008-09), holding the roles of both Head Coach and General Manager for two seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08).
- Martin, who won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in 1998-99 and has also been named a finalist for the award on three other occasions (1996-97, 2000-01, and 2002-03), has guided his team to a playoff appearance in 12 of his 17 seasons as a head coach in the league (including 12 of 15 seasons in which he coached the entire season) and helped his team advance to the Eastern Conference Final twice (2002-03 with Ottawa and 2009-10 with Montreal).
- He has served as a head coach in 111 Stanley Cup Playoff games in his coaching career, and he ranks 22nd on the NHL’s all-time playoff games coached list among head coaches. Including his tenure working as an Assistant Coach or in a front office role in the NHL, Martin’s team has played in at least one postseason series in nine of his last 10 seasons and in 17 of his last 22 seasons.
Adam Rotter: If the criteria to replace Lindy Ruff was experience and defense, Martin meets them. His long association with the Penguins and Mike Sullivan probably played a part in this with Sullivan and David Quinn being close friends. The Rangers probably could have waited to fill Ruff’s position until after this season officially ends, when assistant coach contracts are up, but Martin clearly checked enough boxes for John Davidson, Jeff Gorton and Quinn to hire him. The Rangers still have a lot of room for growth defensively, as a unit and individually, and Martin will play a big part in getting the Ranger defensemen to be better.
8/30/20 | Elliotte Friedman writes at Sportsnet that Jacques Martin, who was just let go by the Penguins, could be the replacement for Lindy Ruff on David Quinn’s coaching staff.
Martin, 67, had been with the Penguins as an assistant since Mike Sullivan took over in 2015-16 and prior to that he was a head coach in Ottawa, Florida and Montreal.
According to The Athletic, Martin “worked with the defensemen under Sullivan, ran portions of practices and was something of an Xs and Os guru.”
The Athletic also noted that Martin was in charge of the Pittsburgh PK and “shared” responsibility for the defense with Sergei Gonchar, who was also let go.
The Penguins were 10th in the NHL this past season on the PK.
Adam Rotter: Martin doesn’t appear to have any direct link to the Rangers, other than Joe Micheletti being an assistant to him with St. Louis during the 1987-88 season and assistant coach David Oliver playing 7 games for him with Ottawa in 2000-01, but Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is one of David Quinn’s closest friends and would likely be able to provide enough information about him. If the Rangers are going to replace Ruff with the exact same kind of veteran former head coach to run the PK and defense, then Martin is a fit. He’s been coaching in the NHL for more than 30 years, has been part of two championship teams with the Pens, and would provide experience to a coaching staff that has been together for two-years, but is still relatively inexperienced.
The search to replace Lindy Ruff has probably been going on in some way, shape or form, since Ruff joined the Devils but with coaches, in the playoffs or not, still under contract until October, the Rangers may not know all their options for another month or so. It’s possible that they go with Gord Murphy, but my guess is that it would be much harder to replace someone like Murphy in Hartford, where, as a veteran coach he decided to go to the AHL, than replacing Ruff will be.