Employed by Kalamazoo, Martin is the second black coach at the moment within the ECHL

Joel Martin was employed because the ECHL’s Kalamazoo coach on Monday, changing into the second black coach of a North American skilled hockey staff.

The 39-year-old, who was additionally named director of hockey operations, spent the previous three seasons as an assistant and goaltending coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He replaces Nick Butland, who joined Hershey’s assistant on August eleventh with the Washington Capitals of the American Hockey League.

Martin thanked Kalamazoo homeowners Invoice Johnston and Rhonda Stryker for “trusting me with the chance to steer this historic franchise.”

“[This] It is a dream come true and I might wish to thank the Johnston-Stryker household for that,” he mentioned. “My essential objective is to develop younger leaders and compete for championships as a result of that is what our followers deserve.”

Earlier than being employed as an assistant in 2018, Martin performed 15 seasons as a goaltender, together with 9 with Kalamazoo, who competed within the ECHL, United Hockey League and Worldwide Hockey League.

Martin, who was inducted into the ECHL Corridor of Fame on Jan. 18, is second in league historical past amongst goaltenders with 22,962 minutes performed, third with 394 video games performed and fourth with 199 wins. He’s additionally the one goaltender to have no less than three seasons of 30 or extra wins.

“Joel’s intensive expertise as an expert hockey participant, in addition to his instructing and management expertise, will serve our group effectively,” mentioned Johnston.

“Joel has an in depth plan for the championship and we’re excited to see the way it unfolds.”

Martin joins Jason Payne as the one black coach accountable for a North American skilled staff. Payne was promoted from assistant to move coach of Cincinnati, the ECHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, on August 31, 2021. In his first season, Payne led the Cyclones to a 36–32–3–1 report earlier than dropping his first season. Kelly Cup Playoffs.

When Kalamazoo takes on Cincinnati on October twenty sixth, it will likely be the primary time in ECHL historical past that two black coaches face one another.

Martin and Payne are each members of the NHL Coaches Affiliation’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Individuals of Shade) program, an initiative designed to assist coaches in various areas together with ability growth, management methods, communication ways and networking. Martin additionally participated within the Boston Bruins’ Variety and Inclusion Scouting Mentoring Program final season.

“Joel has been a priceless member of the (NHLCA) program since its inception in 2020, and we’re very excited to have Joel as Kalamazoo’s subsequent head coach,” NHLCA President Lindsay Artkin mentioned. “The rise within the variety of BIPOC coaches on the males’s skilled stage is admittedly encouraging. It clearly reveals that BIPOC coaches have extra alternatives to attach with the individuals who make hiring choices, and a basic change within the tradition of hiring.”

Martin is the seventh black coach in males’s skilled hockey historical past.

He joins Dirk Graham, who grew to become the NHL’s first black coach when he led the Chicago Blackhawks to 59 video games in 1998-99, and John Paris Jr., who led an expert staff to the NHL’s first championship when Atlanta gained. Turner Cup in 1994.

Others are Sean Wheeler (Charlotte, ECHL, 1998-2000), Graham Townshend (Macon, Central Hockey League, 1999-2001; Greensboro, ECHL, 2001-02), Leo Thomas (Macon, Southern Skilled Hockey League, 2018-19) ).

On June 11, 2021, Mark Joslin was named head coach of the Premier Hockey Affiliation’s Toronto 6, a girls’s skilled league.

Martin’s hiring as director of hockey operations is the most recent occasion of a black man holding a key management place in skilled hockey.

The San Jose Sharks employed former NHL ahead Mike Grier on July 5 to develop into the primary Black basic supervisor in league historical past. This comes after the Tampa Bay Lightning employed former Coca Cola Florida beverage govt Mark Pitts as their COO on Dec. 12. 17 of 2021.

Earlier, the Los Angeles Kings named former Western Hockey League ahead Vuki Mpofu as supervisor of hockey operations and authorized affairs on Could 28, 2021, whereas the Florida Panthers named former hockey agent Brett Peterson on November 17, 2020. employed as assistant basic supervisor.

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