Jacques and Iron Mike Reunited in Florida.

As initially reported by Sportsnet, the Florida Panthers have hired Mike Keenan to be their new GM and Jacques Martin to be the new head coach of the Panthers.This appears to be a great move for the team, as Jacques Martin is one of the best developmental coaches in the league. Florida has a lot of young talent and they resemble the Senators team that Martin inherited 9 years ago. Martin had a lot of patience with Ottawa’s young players and now many of them have become superstars in the NHL. However, the main difference in the two teams is goaltending. During his tenure in Canada’s capital, Martin was never blessed with a bonafied all-star goalie, but now he has that in Luongo. Martin will most likely install a rigid defensive system in the Panthers, and if they manage to cut down on the opposing teams’ shots, Luongo may be able to lead them to a playoff birth.

We should also not expect any conflicts between Mike Keenan and Martin. Keenan is finally working with someone that he respects and trusts. Both Keenan and Martin played for St. Lawrence University, and Keenan gave Martin a job in hockey by hiring him as a scout for the Peterbrough Petes. Not only that, but Martin worked as an assistant under Keenan during their days in Chicago. The two apparently have a great relationship and don’t have many philosophical differences. This bodes well for Florida, because these two smart hockey men may finally turn the Panthers into winners.

Bonk to Follow Martin

It is being rumored in Ottawa that Radek Bonk may follow Martin and head to the Sunshine State. Both Keenan and Martin are apparent fans of Bonk, and as he will most likely not return to Ottawa, they may try to acquire the big centerman via trade. While Ottawa would love to get their hands on Luongo, Keenan would most certianly be fired if he traded him away. There is no speculation on who might go the other way, but it would most likely be picks, prospects and possibly a player like Matt Cullen.

The Coach.


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