x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Martin is Montreal's new main man

The Montreal Canadiens have hired Florida Panthers' general manager Jacques Martin as their new head coach.

The Montreal Canadiens have hired Florida Panthers' general manager Jacques Martin as their new head coach. Martin, who signed a multi-year agreement with the Canadiens, has been a head coach in the NHL for 14 seasons. Martin, 56, joined the Panthers' organisation in May 2004 as their head coach, compiling a 110-100-36 mark in three seasons before stepping aside. Martin, who had been Florida's general manager the past three seasons, was head coach of the St Louis Blues for two seasons and the Ottawa Senators for nine. He succeeds Bob Gainey, the Canadiens' general manager who took over when Guy Carbonneau was fired in March.

"The tradition, the history, the passion, the expectations - that's why I'm here," he said. "I couldn't pass up the chance to coach this team and work with a proven winner like Bob [Gainey]. He's won Stanley Cups as a player and in management and I couldn't be happier to be here. When Bob first approached me, I was both surprised and flattered considering what he's accomplished at all levels. "I've worked with Pierre Gauthier in Ottawa as well as Trevor Timmins. Let me just say that this organisation is rich in people and to me, that's a very important ingredient."

Montreal made the play-offs but were swept by the Boston Bruins in the opening round. Gainey said: "Jacques has proven himself in all capacities as a coach and he understands this environment. I like his professionalism. "He's a coach at heart, a teacher who is here to work as a team. I placed a call to the Panthers about the opportunity to begin discussions with Jacques and they agreed." * Reuters