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Jack Martin, away from the Senators, but not by much

Jack Martin, away from the Senators, but not by much

At 71 years old, Jacques Martin didn't expect to be back behind the bench in the National League, and yet, that's exactly what happened.

It happened in early December, when the Ottawa Senators first hired him as a consultant, only to take over just two weeks later, following the firing of head coach DJ Smith.

From there, everything happened very quickly.

“I didn’t expect it,” admits Martin, who was contacted in Florida. I think we have 15 games left in December, then another 15 games in January. We played all the time, which didn't leave much time for teaching. We were lucky if we could conduct training once a week…”

In the end, the Senators missed the playoffs. And again, one might add, because this failure is added to the other failures; In total, the Senators have been eliminated from spring hockey in each of the past seven seasons. This wasn't the plan.

But Jacques Martin prefers to see the glass as half full. In his opinion, the senators are on the right track despite everything.

The team has a good core and there will certainly be adjustments to be made. The end of the season allowed us to evaluate the existing personnel. Then the new coach will make the next decisions, but I see that the team is moving in the right direction.

Jack Martin

And in Senators camp, the search for the next coach is clearly the priority issue right now. Jack Martin only added his own grain of salt in the background. He has already submitted his recommendations to the administration on the matter, but will not participate in the rest of the process.

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He adds: “I do not know the details, and I do not know when the next coach will be appointed or who will be appointed.” I have made my recommendations, but I am not involved in this research per se.

“I think Steve [Staios, président des opérations hockey et directeur général des Sénateurs] He has already hinted that the club's next coach will be someone with experience, and I think this is a good strategy so that the team can take the next step. »

In the near future, Jack Martin will remain in Florida, in the Fort Lauderdale area. This return under the palm trees may seem like the beginning of retirement, but the main party involved confirms that he will remain, directly or indirectly, within the senators' entourage, in a role that will be better defined at the end of the year. It was the season, he said.

I'll stay here in Florida, but I'll spend some time with the team next season. That remains to be seen. I think I can bring things to the team. We have a good base that we can work on next season.

Jack Martin

Finally, regarding this “next step” that senators have looked forward to for so long, is it finally time to believe in it? Finally, could the club consider fighting for a place in the playoffs next season?

On this subject, Jacques Martin’s response was not long in coming: “Yes, absolutely. »