Islanders legend Bill Torrey leads search for new Panthers GM

Update: More Torrey links, h/t Panthers blog Litter Box Cats, who is naturally all over this:

[Original post follows...]

It's not as fun as Al Arbour returning for game #1500 (and win #740). But hockey-wise, it's a bit more important: "The Architect" Bill Torrey, at age 74 still an alternate governor for the Florida Panthers, will lead the search for the Panthers' new GM and work with Asst. GM Randy Sexton on all hockey operations decisions in the interim. Unless Torrey was a last-minute, calm-the-fans choice in a compressed decision-making moment, it should be fun to see what part he plays in picking a successor -- and who, if anyone, from the legendary Islanders GM's old network he will tap for referrals, or even real candidates, to fill Martin's spot. Heh, I assume Denis Potvin's out.

As Whale4ever at Litter Box Cats put it, Jacques Martin couldn't have picked a worse time to skip town and chase his dream job, leaving the Panthers:

Minus a general manager. Not something an organization wants at any point in the year but the Entry Draft is three weeks away. Free Agency follows on July 1st. Not to mention the RFA status of leading goal scorer David Booth, the UFA status of both Bouwmeester and Craig Anderson, and a handful of other pressing items. A GM is routinely helpful for stuff like that.

Add to that the fact that two GM candidates have already been taken off the table this offseason, and a Panthers fan might say, to quote Caddyshack's wet-blanket girlfriend: "Well tanks fer nuttin'!"

Not that the Habs care. They got their ... well, they got "a" man. Who speaks French.

Seriously, Martin seems better suited to coaching than to team-building. And he speaks French. He may also bring a technical side and a calmer demeanor than the deposed Guy Carbonneau. (Of course, with so many UFAs, who knows how much of the Habs' roster will be made up of the guys who tuned Carbonneau out?)

Still, that reserved demeanor is why Martin seldom excites people (except when he speaks French). Here's Robert at Habs Eyes on the Prize:

Didn't see this coming? Don't feel bad, you're in with the majority of Canadiens fans who were expecting perhaps a more spectacular unveiling. ...

... The French media will love the guy, until they start having trouble getting colourful quotes from him.

Back to Torrey, I assume he recognizes the game has changed since he was a GM -- and since he became the Panthers' first VP and president while Bobby Clarke became their first GM. I assume he will tap, but not pick from, the old boys' network. But if he was even in position to try, he was unable to keep Panthers owner Alan Cohen from the Martin-Mike Keenan musical chairs experiment.

What perspective does he bring today? And will Cohen trust his recommendations? And will he keep Sexton from picking the next Alexandre Daigle?

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