According to TSN’s Darren Dreger and a source, Jacques Martin may be a top candidate for the Buffalo Sabres head coaching position. The report came on WGR550 radio Wednesday morning during Dreger’s segment.
Martin, 66, has a storied NHL coaching career and has been coaching since 1980. He got his start in the Ontario Hockey League in the early 80s before becoming head coach of the St. Louis Blues in 1986. After two seasons there, he spent a few seasons as an assistant coach under Mike Keenan with the Chicago Blackhawks.
His journey then took him to Quebec, where he joined the Nordiques as an associate coach under Dave Chambers. Martin spent six years with that organization, amid their transition to becoming the Colorado Avalanche.
Martin then spent the next nine years, from 1995 to 2004, with the Ottawa Senators. Perhaps many Sabres fans will remember him behind the bench in 1997, when the Sabres and Senators faced a seven-game playoff series before Buffalo came out on top 1-0 in the final game.
Since then, he’s spent time with Florida, Montreal, and since 2013, the Pittsburgh Penguins, including as an assistant coach and senior advisor of hockey operations. He currently serves as an assistant coach under Mike Sullivan. To date, Martin has coached over 1200 NHL games with 12 playoff appearances, four division championships and two Stanley Cups (both with Pittsburgh). His teams have made the playoffs 12 out of 17 years, and he won the Jack Adams award in 1999.
During his tenure as a head coach, he’s helped lead multiple teams to first- or second-place finishes in their respective divisions. He last served as a head coach with Montreal in the 2011-12 season, when he was replaced just 34 games into the season.
Martin has also been involved with Hockey Canada, including as an assistant coach in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
Here’s the full quote from Dreger regarding the possibility of the Sabres hiring Martin:
What do you think of Martin as the Sabres’ next head coach? He’s just one of a handful of potential candidates whose names are creeping up, including Todd Richards (as Dreger mentions above), Todd McLellan (now off the market), and even Lindy Ruff.