Dale Tallon wasted no time moving on to the next phase of his "blueprint." Following the team's final game of the season and first win in 10 games, coach Pete DeBoer has been "relieved of his coaching duties effective immediately." The Panthers made the announcement late this morning on their website, quoting Tallon as saying:
"These decisions are always tough to make, but we felt strongly that it was the right time to make a change. We need to go in a new direction with a fresh approach and philosophy as it relates to our head coaching position. The entire Panthers organization would like to thank Peter for his hard work and service to this franchise and wish him all the best in the future."
The Panthers have stated they will have no further comment today. Tallon will be holding a press conference at 12:30 tomorrow, where he will presumably talk about
the future of the remainder of the coaching staff and what his plans are in regard to filling the position. According to the Miami Herald, power play coach Jim Hulton and video coach Jamie Pringle were also fired. Defense coach Gord Murphy is the only member of the coaching staff still under contract.
It is believed by many that DeBoer was more or less set up to fail here. He was given no roster support by management and often got a lot out of lineups that, as Puck Daddy's Ryan Lambert put it, "have rosters that were seemingly put together at random, featuring guys you can't believe are in the National Hockey League." However, DeBoer, who has one year left on his contract, just never seemed to be Tallon's type of coach. Tallon likes grit and DeBoer likes to bench tough guys. This move was inevitable and though his fate this year was unknown, no one expected DeBoer to be given a contract extension even if he was head coach next year.
DeBoer will probably not be unemployed for long. Given Bryan Murray's extension as General Manager of the Ottawa Senators and coach Cory Clouston's firing last night, it has been speculated that DeBoer, originally in the running for that job, is a likely candidate.