Panther GM Jacques Martin, who signed an agreement to remain with the team through 2011-12, said Friday morning he is starting to put together a list of candidates for the vacant coaching position.
But Martin reiterated he has set no deadline to hire a coach.
“I think in June is when I see picking up the coaching portfolio and doing some work,” Martin said. “I didn’t want to put a deadline on it. We’ll just wait to see where we’re at. Maybe it will develop quickly, and maybe it’s going to take a couple weeks.”
Martin has a full schedule ahead of him, with pro and amateur scout meetings, development camp and the NHL combines later this month, and the NHL Entry Draft June 20. He said a lot will depend on where the team is in regards to “other responsibilities and aspects, like contracts to be signed or talking trades.”
Martin says he has started to put together a list of potential candidates with various degrees of experience.
“One would be experienced coaches, in no order, for instance, names tossed out like Joel Quenneville, Pat Quinn, Pat Burns, Paul Maurice…people like that who’ve had extensive experience in the National Hockey League,” he said. “Then you have a list of other people, coaches that have been assistants like Perry Pearn and Mike Johnston, people that have previous head coaching experience at other levels. Then you have American (Hockey) League coaches, Randy Cunneyworth, Scott Gordon, people coaching in the American League who’ve had past success and who are coming highly recommended.”
Martin added they’ll be several criteria for hiring the right person.
“I think it’s a matter of evaluating the candidates and which one would fill our needs, looking at the organization and our roster and try to find a perfect match,” he said. “An individual who has good teaching ability (because of) the age of our roster. One with good motivational skills, good communication skills. An individual who can work within the team framework with the organization.”
Martin said he has not been contacted by any coaches, but has been called by some of their agents.