When Lindy Ruff was hired to be the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils, it left a vacancy on the bench for the New York Rangers. Ruff had been coaching in New York for three seasons, lending his wealth of experience to rookie head coach David Quinn. Now Quinn will have a different veteran voice as the Rangers have announced the hiring of Jacques Martin as an assistant for the upcoming season.
Martin, 67, has been an NHL coach since 1986, serving in various positions on eight different teams. Most recently he had served as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins, spending the last seven years with the organization. When the Penguins were knocked out unceremoniously this summer, all of the assistants were chopped, leaving Martin a high profile free agent.
The Rangers snapped him up quickly and will add him to a group that has a bright future ahead of them. New York made waves this season with their strong play despite committing to a rebuild just a few years ago and now have a chance to compete for the playoffs in 2020-21. Martin’s defensive structure will likely be implemented with a young blueline group that has plenty of upside, including a pair of 22-year-olds in Ryan Lindgren and Adam Fox.
Martin brings decades of experience and was with the Penguins for their latest two Stanley Cups. He has been a head coach for 1,294 regular season games, good enough for 14th all-time. Though it’ll be Quinn’s team, you can bet he’ll lean on the experience and success that Martin brings.