|Panthers GM Jacques Martin (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) |
Jacques Martin announced Tuesday afternoon he will remain as general manager of the Panthers.
Martin, who relinquished his coaching duties last week, said during an interview from Ottawa that he was “excited to continue my work with the organization.”
“I’m excited to take on this new challenge and devote all my time to continue our philosophy here,” Martin said. “We’ve made progress and we’re going in the right direction. When you look at a person like myself who’s been coaching a long time…I enjoyed it, but I felt this year with all the different issues, it made it difficult (to do both jobs). I think the fact, as general manager, you have the opportunity to have complete control over hockey operations…it’s an interesting and exciting challenge.
“When you look back, and have the choice between (coach and GM), you take the position with the most control, with the most impact on the organization.”
Despite speculation, Martin said he never spoke with any other teams about any positions in the last week. In fact, Martin said he met with owner Alan Cohen last week and both agreed that both coach and GM were too much for one person.
“I’ve had many conversation with Alan, and I told him I’m excited to take this new challenge,” said Martin, who has been holding exit interviews and evaluations with players and staff while traveling to Toronto, Rochester and Ottawa.
Martin said his first step in hiring a coach will be identifying the qualities the new Panther head coach must possess. Martin called it a “long and lengthy process.” He added there would be no immediate rush to hire a coach.
“It’s important to have the right person that the organization feels can take this team to the next level,” he said. “We haven’t drawn up a criteria. I’m sure there’ll be lots of speculation. Names will be thrown out there. That’s usually the case. We’ll draw up a criteria and start the search.”
Martin said there’s issues to address over the off-season, including resigning Jay Bouwmeester and possibly acquiring another puck-moving defenseman.