Two former Skating Saints teammates are working together again, this time in the
National Hockey League.
The Florida Panthers organization announced on May 26 that St. Lawrence
University graduates Mike Keenan '72 and Jacques Martin '75 had been
selected as general manager and head coach, respectively. The press release
announcing the appointments follows:
May 26, 2004
JACQUES MARTIN & MIKE KEENAN REUNITE
Panthers Announce Martin as Head Coach, Keenan as General Manager
SUNRISE, FL - At an afternoon press conference in the Office Depot Center on
Wednesday, the Florida Panthers announced Jacques Martin as the club's head coach
and Mike Keenan as the team's general manager.
Martin, 51, guided Ottawa to a 43-23-10-6 mark
last season with 102 points. For his career with the Senators, he posted a 341-255-96
regular-season record in nine seasons. He stands as the franchise's all-time leader
in games coached (692), regular-season wins (341), playoff wins (31) and playoff games
coached (69). He becomes the ninth coach in Panthers history.
Under Martin's guidance, the Senators earned their first President's Trophy and
Eastern Conference title, posting a 52-21-8-1 mark upon completion of the 2002-03
campaign. He led Ottawa to its first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing
to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils. Martin has been nominated for
the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL Coach of the Year four times. He won the award in 1998-99
and was nominated in 1996-97, 2000-01 and 2002-03. He also was selected as head coach
of the Eastern Conference at the 2003 NHL All-Star Game in Florida and head coach of
the World Team at the 2001 All-Star Game in Denver. Martin was named as an associate
coach for Team Canada's men's hockey team that won gold at the 2002 Olympic Winter
Games in Salt Lake City. In addition, he will serve as an associate coach with Team
Canada at this year's World Cup of Hockey.
Martin joined Ottawa after spending the first half of the 1995-96 season with
the Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, where he served as an assistant
coach to Marc Crawford and was widely recognized as one of the architects of
that championship team. Martin entered the NHL as head coach of the St. Louis
Blues in 1986-87 and 1987-88, leading the Blues to the Norris Division championship
in his rookie season. He joined the Blues after guiding the Ontario Hockey League's
Guelph Platers to the 1986 Memorial Cup championship and winning OHL coach of the
year honors for his efforts. Before joining Guelph, Martin spent two years with the
Peterborough Petes (OHL) and 10 years honing his coaching skills at Ottawa's
Algonquin College and in the Central Junior Hockey League.
Also recognized for his efforts in the community, Martin established and continues
to fund the Jacques Martin Hockey School, which has earned the reputation of being
one of the finest bilingual hockey schools in Ontario and Quebec. He also hosts the
Jacques Martin Omnium Golf Tournament that has raised more than $300,000 in the
past seven years to benefit the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
Keenan, 54, becomes the sixth general manager in
the team's history. He served as interim general manager with Vancouver (1997-98) and
as general manager in St. Louis (1994-96) and Chicago (1988-92). During his tenure
with these clubs, he traded for players such as Wayne Gretzky (St. Louis), Craig
Conroy (St. Louis), Chris Pronger (St. Louis), Todd Bertuzzi (Vancouver), Chris
Chelios (Chicago), Michel Goulet (Chicago) and Brent Sutter (Chicago). While at the
helm in Chicago, Keenan posted a mark of 153-126-41 (.542) and led the Blackhawks
to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992. His Chicago teams made the playoffs all four
years, finishing 33-27 (.550) in the postseason and winning seven of 11 playoff series.
A coaching veteran of 18 seasons, he has spent time behind the bench for seven
different NHL clubs including Florida (2000-03), Boston (2000-01), Vancouver
(1997-98), St. Louis (1994-96), NY Rangers (1993-94), Chicago (1988-92) and
Philadelphia (1984-88). His resume includes three President's Trophies (1985,
1991 and 1994), six division titles (1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991 and 1994),
three All-Star Games (1986, 1988 and 1993), three 50-plus win seasons (1984-85,
1985-86 and 1993-94), and five 100-plus point seasons (1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87,
1990-91 and 1993-94). Keenan ranks fifth on the all-time coaching list in both
games coached (1,222) and victories (584).
Most significantly, Keenan led the Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship,
the team's only championship in the past 64 years. The Rangers went 52-24-8 (.667)
under Keenan, going from a non-playoff team to the President's Trophy winner and
Stanley Cup Champion in a single year.
Additionally, Keenan was the general manager/head coach of the championship
Team Canada squads that participated in the Canada Cup in 1991 and 1987. He
served similar roles at the University of Toronto (1983-84), the Peterborough
Petes (1979-80) and the Canadian National Junior Team (1979-80).
Keenan and Martin last worked together in Chicago (1988-90), when Keenan
served as the team's head coach/general manager and Martin was an assistant
coach. Prior to that, the pair worked together when they led Peterborough to
the Memorial Cup Finals in 1980. The duo also played hockey together at
St. Lawrence University.
Posted: May 26, 2004