Senators bring back Jacques Martin as senior advisor to head coach D.J. Smith

Newest member of the Senators coaching staff, Jacques Martin discusses how this opportunity for him to return came about, how he plans to add new resources and his experience into the mix, and what has him so excited about this group going forward.

Just one day after acknowledging fans’ discontent with head coach D.J. Smith, Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer has hired Jacques Martin to the role of senior advisor to the coaching staff.

The club announced Wednesday the appointment of Martin, who held the position of head coach with the team longer than anyone in franchise history.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Jacques back to the Senators,” said interim general manager Steve Staios in a statement. “Not only will his extensive expertise provide invaluable guidance, but his strategic vision and leadership are qualities that are certain to amplify our group. Jacques’ proven track record, the foundation of which was built here in Ottawa, will be of significant benefit to D.J. and our entire coaching staff.”

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Martin, 71, has worked with nine NHL teams, either as head coach or assistant. He took over as bench boss in Ottawa in January 1996 and did not depart until the end of the 2003-04 season, posting a 341-235-96 record in the nation’s capital. The team made the playoffs every season he was in charge, except for the first. Combined with his time as boss in Florida, Montreal, and St. Louis, Martin’s NHL head coaching record is 613-481-119-81.

Smith told Sportsnet’s Wayne Scanlan he was approached by Staios a while ago about adding Martin to the staff and that he was in favour of it.

On Tuesday, Andlauer spoke to the media while at the NHL Board of Governors’ meetings in Seattle and acknowledged his fanbase’s frustrations with the team.

“I totally understand their angst,” Andlauer told “I do appreciate, and I love these fans, they are passionate. They have also gone six years without making the playoffs. The only thing I can say is that I’m as big a fan.”

The Senators are 10-10-0 and in last place in the Atlantic Division, which is a far cry from where they were expected to be in a season where making the playoffs was the expectation.

“It’s a process,” Andlauer said. “I’m a new boss. I’m looking at all our key employees and trying to understand and making sure they have the right tools to be successful. Steve (Staios) is working pretty hard at this. I can feel the fans’ angst.”

A native of Saint-Pascal, Ont., Martin was an assistant coach with Pittsburgh when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017. He won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 1999.

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