June 1, 2009 / 7:28 PM / in 9 years

Canadiens hire Martin as their head coach

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Montreal Canadiens have hired Florida Panthers' general manager Jacques Martin as their new head coach, the team said Monday on its website ( www.canadiens.nhl.com ).

<p>Jacques Martin, smiles as he is introduced as the Montreal Canadiens new head coach, during a press conference in Montreal, June 1, 2009. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi</p>

Martin, who signed a multi-year agreement with the Canadiens, has been an NHL head coach for 14 seasons.

The 56-year-old Martin joined the Panthers’ organization in May 2004 as their head coach, compiling a 110-100-36 mark in three seasons before stepping aside last summer.

Martin, who had been Florida’s general manager the past three seasons, was head coach of the St. Louis Blues for two seasons and the Ottawa Senators for nine. He has a career record of 517-406-119.

He succeeds Bob Gainey, the Canadiens’ general manager who took over when Guy Carbonneau was fired in March.

Montreal made the playoffs but was swept by the Boston Bruins in the opening round.

Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by ALison Wildey

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