In his latest 20 Penguins Thoughts column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Penguins beat writer Jason Mackey caught up with veteran Penguins assistant coach Jacques Martin to talk Penguins hockey and other coaching opportunities around the NHL.
When former Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet left the team for a head coaching opportunity with the Arizona Coyotes, fans were concerned with how things would play out for the Pens. The team’s coaching staff of Martin and Tocchet along with head coach Mike Sullivan was clearly one of the strongest coaching staffs in the entire NHL. Losing Tocchet hurts, losing Martin would hurt even more. The 65-year-old former head coach has decades of experience from which to draw from and often acts as the foil to Sullivan in his more abrasive moments.
So, what are the chances that Martin gets another shot elsewhere in the NHL? Would he be interested?
“If the opportunity was there, definitely I’d consider it,” Martin said. “That’s what you want. “
That certainly sounds like a man who wants another shot. But, he was quick to qualify his words and make it clear that he’s not looking for an exit in Pittsburgh.
“At the same time, I’m not unhappy. I’m very happy with what I do,” he followed up. “If some team comes calling, definitely I would be interested.”
As for the team’s current staff, Martin has nothing but positive things to say. “We have a great staff,” Martin said. “Mike does a great job of using the people with him. We work so much as a team. That’s rewarding. Everybody on the staff feels important, feels that they are contributing. We bring all different elements.”
So… will he stay or will he go? We won’t know until the summer but with no head coaching vacancies in the NHL right now, Martin may simply be out of luck. Then again… an assistant coaching job with the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins isn’t the worst job in the world…