Old pal Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun threw out another rumor related to the Panthers coaching search, offering up Pittsburgh assistant Andre Savard. This isn't out of left field either, folks. I heard his name offered up a few weeks ago in conversations with someone within the organization. That person basically told me "look at guys who have been close to Jacques.''
Andre Savard has been close to Jacques.
As coach of the Quebec Nordiques, Savard hired Martin as his assistant coach when Martin was relieved of his first coaching job with the St. Louis Blues in 1988. Savard also worked in Ottawa as a scout and was an assistant coach under JM with the Sens.
Are they pals? Don't know. Would guess the two have kept close ties over the years as Savard has definitely been around.
A former player, Savard was general manager of the Canadiens earlier this decade, and has been an assistant coach with the Pens the past two seasons. The Pens are doing pretty well. JM may be waiting for this Pittsburgh season to end before he really begins the coaching search.
Savard spent 12 seasons in the NHL, splitting time with Boston, Buffalo and Quebec. He retired in 1985 after scoring 211 goals in close to 800 career games.
Is Savard the favorite right now? I'm not jumping through that hoop. But, I would think he's one of the top candidates because of his past with Jacques and because of the good work he's done with Pitt.