The Florida Panthers let go of head coach Bob Boughner on Sunday with one year remaining on his contract after he failed to guide the club to the playoffs in either of his first two seasons behind the bench.
The Boughner-led Cats posted an overall record of 80-62-22, regressing from 96 points in 2017-18 to 86 in 2018-19, wasting career years from the likes of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Evgenii Dadonov and Frank Vatrano.
So, who is up next on the constantly spinning Panthers coaching carousel? Well, according to reports it could be none other than Joel Quenneville, who led the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup wins in his slightly more than 10-season run in the Windy City.
There is a real sense today that the process between FLA and Joel Quenneville is much further along than many of us realized. It’s not a done deal, but it’s close. It would not be a surprise if this process closes in the near future.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 7, 2019
Florida GM Dale Tallon was the man who hired Quenneville in Chicago in 2008 and it looks like a reunion of the two could be confirmed as soon as today as the Panthers have a press conference scheduled for 12 p.m.
There are also rumors that former New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow could be joining the organization in some capacity.
The Panthers have missed the postseason 16 times in the last 18 seasons and haven’t won a playoff series since 1996. Hiring an experienced coach with Quenneville’s track record could be the shot in the arm the franchise needs to take the next step and would start the offseason, which will likely see the club acquire a new starting goaltender and hopefully some blue line help, with a bang... a big bang.
UPDATE: The rumors are indeed true. Quenneville will be announced as the Panthers next coach at the noon press conference.
From the team: Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the team has named Joel Quenneville as head coach of the Panthers.
“Joel is a three-time Stanley Cup champion head coach who will be a transformative leader for the Florida Panthers franchise,” said Tallon. “We’ve seized the opportunity to add one of the most successful head coaches in hockey history and we’re thrilled that Joel has agreed to take on the challenge of leading our promising young team. I’ve worked with Joel previously and have seen firsthand how his passion for the game, head coaching experience and leadership can impact an organization. Joel will accelerate our growth into a club that qualifies for the playoffs consistently and competes every year toward our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
Quenneville, 60, has over 20 years of NHL head coaching experience with the St. Louis Blues (1996-97 to 2003-04), Colorado Avalanche (2005-06 to 2007-08) and Chicago Blackhawks (2008-09 to 2018-19) organizations. A native of Windsor, Ontario, Quenneville owns an 890-532-77-137 record as a head coach in the NHL. His 890 regular season wins as an NHL head coach are the second most in NHL history.
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Quenneville has amassed a 118-97 record over 215 postseason contests as head coach. Quenneville guided the team that Tallon helped construct in Chicago to Stanley Cup victories in 2010, 2013 and 2015 during a historic 10-year run with the Blackhawks and is one of only 11 head coaches in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup on three occasions. In the salary cap era, Quenneville is the only NHL head coach to win the Stanley Cup three times.
The recipient of the 1999-00 Jack Adams Award for the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success, Quenneville helped lead the St. Louis Blues to the President’s Trophy with a 51-19-11-1 record. He was named a head coach in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game.
Prior to his head coaching career, Quenneville served as an assistant coach for the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche (1994-96), winning the 1996 Stanley Cup.
Selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round (21st overall) of the 1978 NHL Draft, Quenneville appeared in 803 career NHL regular season games, recording 190 points (54-136-190) with Toronto (1978-79 to 1979-80), the Colorado Rockies (1979-80 to 1981-82), New Jersey Devils (1982-83), Hartford Whalers (1983-84 to 1989-90) and Washington Capitals (1990-91).
Quenneville has been married to his wife Elizabeth since 1988 and has three children Anna, Lily and Dylan.