Senators' Staios says Martin hire isn't a threat to anyone's job
The Ottawa Senators hired a familiar face on Wednesday, naming Jacques Martin, the winningest head coach in franchise history, as the team's senior advisor to the coaching staff.
Former NHL player Steve Staios, who currently serves as the Sens' president of hockey operations and interim general manager, told TSN Radio 1200 on Thursday morning that the team was careful to make sure any additions during the season wouldn't disrupt the process moving forward.
"I think one thing that I had to be mindful of in any addition coming in is that we're in season," Staios told TSN 1200. "We want this thing to move forward, and any addition or resource that we do add shouldn't or can't disrupt the process moving forward. I think Jacques comes in with just with his personality and his wisdom and his leadership style. [He] comes in with a calm demeanour, incredibly articulate, incredibly detailed, and a perfect complement to D.J. and the rest of the coaching staff. I think it's a perfect fit from that regard."
Martin, 71, posted an impressive 341-235-96-20 record over 692 games behind the bench in his nine seasons in the nation's capital from 1995 to 2004. He also led the Senators to three division titles as well as eight playoff appearances.
The Senators, who have won their past two games, were expected to be playoff contenders this season, but are 10-10 through 20 games and sit last in the Atlantic Division. Head coach D.J. Smith has seemingly been on the hot seat at various points this season with the addition of Martin causing some to ask more questions regarding Smith's future with the team.
Staios says hiring Martin to advise the coaching should not be considered a threat to anyone's job.
"D.J. wants to win hockey games. That's what he wants to do. I thought that going through the process that Jacques would be the perfect complement in that regard," Staios remarked. "As far as a threat or anything like that, I understand the thought of it from the outside looking in, but this is really about supporting the staff and moving forward. The players really understood the dynamics behind this. Now it's up to the coaching staff to execute on the plan moving forward."
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The 50-year-old Staios was hired by the Senators as their new president of hockey operations in late September and took over interim general manager on Nov.1 following the firing of Pierre Dorion.
In addition to Martin, the Senators made numerous hires this season, including adding Sens legend Daniel Alfredsson in a player development and coaching role and Matt Nichol as Director of Player Heath and Performance.
Staios says the search for a full-time GM continues and that the front office, led by new owner Michael Andlauer, will do their due diligence to find the right person for the job.
"It will be up to Michael [Andlauer] to structure the front office the way that he sees fit. He's often talked about having two people in a role at least that are going to be at the top that are ultimately responsible for the decision making. That process will take place," explained Staios .
"I wouldn't say it has taken a step back, but these things take time and we want to make sure we're making the right decisions for the organization and not being rash and jumping to any conclusions."
Staios added that there's a possibility he remains the interim general manager for the remainder of the season.
"I think that's certainly a possibility. We're focused on the day-to-day and supporting our team that best way possible at this point and time," he said. So, these are ongoing discussions. I think anything is possible really."