Jacques Martin will be named the new head coach of the Montreal Canadiens at 2 p.m. this afternoon, according to several media outlets.
A four-time Jack Adams award nominee, Martin fits the bill on many requirements for the new Habs coach. He's Francophone, experienced and a horrible quote. He is not a Stanley Cup winner, however, and both Marc Crawford and Bob Hartley are, which makes me wonder why they weren't considered.
I find this announcement to be pretty curious seeing as Bob Gainey himself admitted to La Presse recently that there will in fact be a new owner for the team, which means his job may very well be in jeopardy, especially if the Serge Savard/BCE bid winds up winning the auction for the Habs.
I feel that Gainey is making this move in order to better protect his coveted thoroughbred, Carey Price. There's no better coach out there for making a goaltender feel safe and secure than Martin because of his stifling, and many would say boring, defensive system.
Martin benefitted from a very skilled lineup in Ottawa built through several years of solid drafting, which allowed his teams to produce offence despite the handcuffs Martin would put on his forwards. I'm not sure the personnel he will have at his disposal in Montreal will be quite so adept at notching goals based on skill alone, unless Gainey is able to grab some high-end talent in free agency this summer.
I'll report back after this afternoon's press conference at the Bell Centre. I'm sure Martin will have some tremendously interesting things to say.