As a hockey fan who’s grown disenchanted with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ erratic team defense—particularly during the playoffs—I’ve often wished the Pens could figure a way to implant a Michel Therrien chip into Dan Bylsma’s noggin. Then the black and gold would have the best of both worlds—an upbeat, popular coach who could instill in his troops a sense of defensive structure and accountability.
Of course, such a surgical procedure doesn’t exist (or at least isn’t covered under major medical plans). So Penguins GM Ray Shero did the next best thing. On August 9 he hired an assistant who boasts an established pedigree in the finer points of defensive hockey.
To say Jacques Martin has an impressive resume is an understatement. Not only has the 59-year-old native of St. Pascal, Ontario, served as a head coach for four NHL clubs (St. Louis, Ottawa, Florida, and Montreal), but he’s racked up an impressive .551 points percentage to boot.
While it’s unclear whether Martin will work the bench...