Sports

Laraque: Players don't like Martin

QMI AGENCY

Former Montreal Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque suggested one of the reasons the Habs got drummed 7-0 by the Boston Bruins Thursday is because the players don't like coach Jacques Martin.

"It's clear, there are players on the Canadiens who don't like (the coach)," said Laraque, who had his own issues with Martin when his Canadiens career came to an inauspicious end in 2010.

At the time, Laraque said the decision to get rid of him was "classless."

"But these guys should at least play for the team if they don't want to do it for Martin," he added.

Former NHLer Enrico Ciccone told QMI Agency that regardless of what players think of their coach, they should be playing for themselves.

"A player doesn't choose his coach," Ciccone said.

"Those who don't like Jacques Martin should have at least performed better for their own pride."

Former Stanley Cup-winning coach Bob Hartley said he thought Boston's coach, Claude Julien, got the best of Martin on Thursday.

"Martin should have been the first to call a time out," Hartley said. "But no, it was Julien who did it when his team was dominating. I was expecting the Canadiens to come out strong in the third. Everything was still possible. But no, it turned out to be the team's worst period."

Laraque said that the Canadiens performance on Thursday was abominable.

"It was humiliating," he said.

"They didn't even fight. They looked dead on the ice. These clubs will see each again in the playoffs and there will be no excuse to allow yourself to be dominated at every level."

COLORADO HIRES SAKIC

Former Colorado Avalanche great Joe Sakic has been hired to a front-office post by his old team.

The Avs named Sakic executive advisor/alternate governor Friday, but the 41-year-old won't officially start his new job until the end of the season.

"I feel that now is the time for this new challenge," Sakic said. "Two years after retiring from the game of hockey, and having had the opportunity to attend the board of governors meeting, I feel excited about getting involved more with the organization. The fact that the Avalanche is giving me this opportunity shows how much they trust my background and hockey experience. I look forward to this new expanded role with the franchise."

Sakic will advise on hockey matters and be involved in the business side of the franchise while representing the Avs at NHL board of governor meetings.

After 20 years with the Quebec/Colorado franchise, Sakic retired in 2009. He finished with 625 goals, 1,016 assists and two Stanley Cup championships.

LECLAIRE SAYS GOODBYE

Goaltender Pascal Leclaire spoke his final words in the Ottawa Senators dressing room Friday afternoon.

Fresh off hip surgery to repair a problem that has plagued him all year, the 28-year-old Leclaire is going to need three months of rehab. Then he faces an uncertain future because the Senators have already said he won't be back in Ottawa next year.

Leclaire had the surgery Monday in Colorado.

He is adamant that he will be back in the NHL and his career isn't over.

"I'm really confident I'll find a place to play in the NHL," said Leclaire, who has a checkered injury history. "I'm sure somebody will sign me and we'll go from there."



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