In fact, I was able to obtain a full recording of Martin's interview with Montreal GM Bob Gainey. I think this explosive transcript will shed a lot of light on how Martin managed to land one of the most coveted jobs in sports.
Bob Gainey: Jacques, I want to thank you for coming in for this interview. Do you have any other commitments on your time today? As you can imagine, the interview process can be quite daunting for a job as prestigious as this one.
Jacques Martin: No problem, I'm willing to spend all day here if I need to.
Gainey: OK, great. First question: do you speak French?
Martin: Yes I do.
Gainey: Great. You're hired!
Martin: ... Um, sorry?
Gainey: You're hired. You nailed pretty much every qualification we have.
Gainey: Is there a problem?
Martin: I just thought we were going to spend some time talking about my experience.
Gainey: Oh. Well, sure, I suppose we could do that. If you really want to.
Martin: Well, my coaching career began with the Blues. Then I spent nine years as the coach of the Ottawa Senators. And for the past five years I've been with the Florida Panthers.
Gainey: I don't remember you coaching the Blues.
Martin: Nobody does.
Gainey: OK, so let's skip that part and move on to Ottawa.
Martin: Well, with the Senators I was best known for accomplishing something that virtually no other active NHL coach has managed to do.
Gainey: Which was?
Martin: Losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoffs.
Gainey (nodding): Yeah, I think we all saw that one coming.
Martin: We lost to them four times, but the toughest one was in 2004. We made it to game seven, but then Patrick Lalime had an epic meltdown. We really believed that he was the guy who could backstop our team to a championship, but then he just imploded.
Gainey: So you're saying you have experience dealing with over-hyped goalies who choke in the playoffs?
Martin: Extensive experience.
Gainey: (Makes a big checkmark on his notepad)
Gainey: And what about your playoff experience since 2004?
Martin: You heard the part where I said I worked for the Florida Panthers, right?
Gainey: Sorry. My mistake. What about in St. Louis, what was your playoff record like there?
Martin: No idea. Like I said, nobody remembers me coaching the Blues.
Gainey: Fair enough. As you know, the media here in Montreal can be difficult. What sort of experience do you have dealing with the media?
Martin: Well, in Ottawa they were very difficult to deal with. They were constantly asking me for autographs, bringing me coffee, or just offering me random hugs and back rubs. But they could be nasty, too. Sometimes, when we choked in the playoffs against a team we should have easily beaten, somebody would actually write a negative article. They'd always apologize the next day and print a retraction, but still, it was pretty rough.
Gainey: And what about dealing with all the hockey media in Florida, was that difficult?
Martin: So anyways, I'm sure I could handle the Montreal media. I have a well-tested strategy for working with the press.
Gainey: Which is?
Martin: I'm so incredibly boring that they all quit after fifteen minutes of listening to me.
Gainey: Well Jacques, I think you're our man. Do you have any questions for me?
Martin: Just one: Any update on the ownership situation?
Gainey: We're expecting an announcement soon, but I can't really say more than that.
Gainey: You like Celine Dion music, right?