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Ottawa Senators Fire Jacques Martin

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  • Ottawa Senators Fire Jacques Martin

    Martin Takes the Fall

    Another loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup playoffs may not have been Jacques Martin's undoing but it certainly didn't help.

    The Ottawa Senators fired Martin, two days after the team was eliminated by the Maple Leafs for the fourth time in the last five years.

    Assistant coaches Don Jackson and Phil Myre were also relieved of their duties while Perry Pearn and Randy Lee were retained. General manager John Muckler says Pearn will not be a candidate for the head coaching position.

    "We felt that we had to go in a new direction, to get a new voice in the dressing room," explained Muckler. "I think some of the blame has to sit in the dressing room, but its the oldest cliche in our industry, you can't fire 29 people."

    "Is it right, sometimes it's not but I know one thing that's right, we needed a change."

    Muckler added that he has not ruled out making changes to the lineup, but those won't happen immediately.

    "I just feel we need somebody to come in and take us over the top of the mountain."

    Martin has been head coach of the Senators for the past eight years and following Paul Maurice's dismissal this season in Carolina, he became the longest serving head coach in the NHL. He had signed a two-year contract extension with the Senators in January, which included an option for a third year if there was a lockout this fall.

    Martin compiled a record of 341 wins, 249 losses and 96 ties in the regular season. However, he could not translate that regular season success into the post-season, finishing with a 31-38 playoff won-loss record. The Senators won four of 12 playoff series and two of their last four under Martin.

    The former NHL coach of the year guided the Senators to three division titles, the President's trophy and reached the conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. In the end it wasn't enough.

    "When you look at the series that we lost, the four games that we lost, we scored one goal,'' Martin said. "Obviously you have areas that you need to address.''

    No immediate replacement was named, but Muckler said the job is "wide open" and whomever is hired will have to "fix our dressing room".

    "We have to find more leadership coming out of that dressing room, he's going to have to develop that," he said of the next head coach. "I think there can be some improvement in the attack part of our game, yet keep the defensive part of the game together."

    Among the names expected to receive consideration for the position is former St. Louis Blues coach Joel Quenneville, New Jersey Devils special assistant Larry Robinson and Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Barry Smith. Muckler said he has no interest in returning behind the bench himself.

    Martin, who spoke about his dismissal later in the day, exited with class, thanking the fans and his support staff, among others.

    "It's been a good ride,'' he said. "I've be very fortunate to be able to work in my home town, back home, and I had the pleasure to work with some great players. To be able to last that long and build I think a good relationship with a lot of the players, I've been a very fortunate individual.

    "No doubt the disappointment is not to be given the opportunity to finish what was started but I understand. I appreciate what I had here for almost nine years.''

    And he made no apologies for his coaching approach.

    "I believe I am not the show. The players are the show.''

    Martin was the NHL's coach of the year in 1998-99, when ironically Toronto's Pat Quinn was runner-up. Martin has been a finalist for the award three other times.

    Martin joined the Senators from Denver in 1995-96, where he was an assistant for the Avalanche. He took over as head coach of the Senators on Jan. 24, 1996, after Dave Allison was fired.

    Martin was head coach of the Eastern Conference team at the 2003 all-star game. He previously coached the World Team at the 2001 all-star game in Denver.

    He was also an associate coach for Team Canada at the Olympics and is slated for a similar role at the World Cup of Hockey later this year.

    Martin entered the NHL as head coach of St. Louis in 1986-87 and 1987-88, leading the Blues to the Norris Division championship in his rookie season.

    He joined the Blues after guiding the Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Platers to a Memorial Cup in 1986.
    Also, Bob McKenzie: Martin firing no surprise

  • #2
    Something had to be done, they can't keep doing this.
    Lounge sponsor of Gary Brackett, Reggie Wayne, Henrik Zetterberg (not lounge approved) and all country music.

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    • #3
      Dupe
      Official sponsor of Mike Shannon's Retirement Party

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ElviswasaBluesFan@Apr 22 2004, 03:45 PM
        Dupe
        Dammit! Who posted it first? I looked all up and down the first page, and didn't see it.

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        • #5
          Right here

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