It was announced on Monday that the Montreal Canadiens have come to terms on a multi-year coaching contract with Florida Panthers general manager Jacques Martin. Just one year into a four-year deal he signed to manage the Panthers, Martin will replace interim coach (and Habs GM) Bob Gainey on the bench.
Prior to signing with the Florida Panthers, Martin legitimized himself as a significant Canadian hockey figure as the head coach of the Ottawa Senators where a once formidable crop of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza were amongst the league’s best. Credit Martin with helping develop current NHL stars Zdeno Chara and Martin Havlat as well.
Last season, the Canadiens 100th as a franchise, the team disappointed before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs to the upstart Boston Bruins. Martin himself, as coach of the Sens, is no stranger to first-round exits, but his impact on the Ottawa record books (games coached, wins, etc.) speaks to his credibility.
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The New York Islanders are stumbling to the starting gate of the 2008/2009 NHL season. Last night they endured a 6-0 loss to the Florida Panthers. Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun looked to be in mid-season form, blocking each one of the 29 attempted shots on goal. Goals for the Panthers were scored by Anthony Stewart, Kamil Kreps, Rostislav Olesz , Jay Bouwmeester, Brett McLean and Nathan Horton. Left winger Ville Peltonen pitched in as well, notching three assists.
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