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Alan Cohen: Jacques Martin is Safe

Jacques3 You can put the rumors to bed: Despite the Panthers not making the playoffs again this season, general manager Jacques Martin will return next season.

Owner Alan Cohen told me in an email today that Martin will continue to oversee the team's hockey operations. Martin was relieved of his coaching duties after last season and reportedly signed a four-year deal to remain on as general manager.

Martin has been the team's GM the past three seasons, taking over for Mike Keenan on Labor Day weekend 2006. Martin has been with the Panthers since being fired as coach in Ottawa in 2004.

''Yes, Jacques' job is safe for certain,'' Mr. Cohen wrote. ''He has made the team and the farm system better. Hopefully we keep doing that.''

-- A report out of Rochester says center Janis Sprukts will leave the Florida organization after this season and return to Europe.


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"He has made the team and the farm system better."

The farm system? Did he see the Amerks play this season? The BEST part of the team was coach Benoit Groulx who did a miraculous job with the crap he was handed. Most nights the Amerks were outplayed and way in over their heads, experience and talent wise. Ben's style and work ethic helped it from becoming worse than it was. Martin says they're adding the necessary ingredients to become a winner here next season....we shall see.

And for all you guys wanting Repik, Matthias and Ellerby up next season....none of those 3 are anywhere near ready for full time NHL duty. Matthias, most of all with his - 34 and indifferent play all season. If you want him PLEASE take him, he's just a waste down here. The best of the lot will be Ellerby. He can skate like the wind and once he can read and adapt to situations quickly, he will be close to being ready AND will be effective. He has zero offensive talent, at least so far, it looks like something he really needs to work on. Repik can score but he's still a smallish perimeter player who needs all summer in the weight room and the desire to hangout in the slot a bit more. Has a nice nose for the net....when he gets there.

This decision obviously made due to the fact that Cohen was dumb enough to extend Martin's contract last year. If he fires him he is on the hook for it and cannot afford a replacement.

This season has been a real disappointment.
When is this team really going to make some changes that matter?

So here we go again, another summer looking for defenseman 4th line retreads, and role players.


Good decision by Cohen. We are headed in the right direction.

I mostly agree with Fred's assessment that our young talent needs another season in the AHL, although I think that Garrison appears ready to fill the role of a 5-6 D-man.

We need a veteran center in the worst way. My choice would be Victor Kozlov, who at age 34 would hopefully be willing to sign a short term, reasonable contract. He is also great in the shoot-off.

zenator, Garrison has a cannon of a shot...and not much else, yet. Needs a good "d" vet to teach him positioning, plus he needs to learn how to clear the zone. Made way too many mistakes in his own zone. He'd be havin you pulling your hair out if you were to take him up now.

No question, the "d" is the brightest spot in the organization. Ellerby, Garrison, Caruso, Henry and the newest signee, Matt Duffy all look like keepers. However, they all need at least one more season to develop.

Alan Cohen: Jacques Martin has incriminating photos of me that he's using for blackmail to keep his job.

Story at 11.

93 points-second best in franchise history, even though you had a bad start and you want to get rid of the GM? What are you guys thinking? For who?

And yes our team and prospects got better this year versus last. Markstrom, Ellerby, Matthias, Repik, Robak, Dadinov, Rust, Caruso, Garrison. Not bad for not having a first round pick last year.

Cohen loves to reward failure

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