The Ottawa Senators are turning to the man who steered them to their first playoff berth in an effort to snap their longest playoff drought.
The team has hired Jacques Martin as a senior adviser to its coaching staff, according to a news release issued Wednesday morning.
Martin, 71, who holds the franchise record for games coached and won, will ”serve as a day-to-day resource to Senators’ head coach D.J. Smith and his staff,” the team said.
“Not only will his extensive expertise provide invaluable guidance, but his strategic vision and leadership are qualities that are certain to amplify our group,” said president of hockey operations Steve Staios in the release.
Martin took over as Ottawa’s head coach in January 1996, the third coach in a season that ended with the team’s fourth consecutive playoff miss. He’d go on to coach eight more seasons in Ottawa, taking the Sens to the playoffs each time and winning the Jack Adams award as best coach in 1999.
After being fired in 2004, Martin went on to coach Florida and Montreal, and won two Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins coaching staff in 2016 and 2017.
Martin was most recently a senior adviser to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs.
Ottawa has now missed the playoffs for six straight seasons, four under Smith.
Their 6-2 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night moves the Senators to an even 10 wins and 10 losses on the season. The team currently sits last in the Eastern Conference, but has played the fewest games in the league due to their recent road trip to Sweden.