The Penguins, like other NHL teams, have pro scouts watching other clubs’ games and evaluating players. And all teams’ coaches spend time scouting upcoming opponents, so they can present a game plan to their players.
Jacques Martin will do something a little different for the Penguins.
Martin, who spent the 2013-14 season as a Penguins assistant coach, was named Wednesday as the team’s senior adviser for hockey operations.
In his new role, he will monitor NHL games, particularly those involving Eastern Conference teams, to evaluate how the Penguins stack up against other teams.
He will pass his evaluations on to general manager Jim Rutherford.
Neither Martin nor Rutherford were available to offer further details, but, conceivably, Martin’s watchful eyes could lead to tweaks the Penguins might make to better match up against certain teams, either in the regular season or clubs they might face in the playoffs.
Columbus gave the Penguins a strong series in the first round of the playoffs in the spring, and the New York Rangers came back to win in the second round after the Penguins had built a 3-1 series lead.
In 2013, the Penguins got past a well-matched New York Islanders team in the first round and fairly well cruised past Ottawa before running into the Boston Bruins, who stifled the Penguins’ offense en route to a sweep in the Eastern Conference final.
And two years ago, the Penguins seemed to come apart at the seams in the first round against a driven Philadelphia squad.
Martin, 61, has, at various times, worked as a general manager, head coach and assistant coach with seven NHL clubs over 25 years.
He also has been part of Team Canada coaching staffs at the Olympics. He joins what has become a large Penguins management staff under Rutherford, which also includes associate general manager Jason Botterill, assistant general managers Tom Fitzgerald and Bill Guerin, and vice president of hockey operations Jason Karmanos.
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly. First Published July 23, 2014 12:00 AM