Florida Panthers expand coaching search

Cats interview 600-game winner Ron Wilson, two more candidates possibly waiting in the wings.

This week LBC started to check into the backgrounds of the four men reported to be in the running to be the next head coach of the Florida Panthers. Well, it seems like that list of candidates is growing. According to the SunSentinel, the Panthers just interviewed veteran coach Ron Wilson, who has win 648 games in the NHL, and are also interested in talking to Los Angeles Kings assistant John Stevens, as well the AHL's Texas Stars head man Willie Desjardins.

If the Cats are indeed planning to interview Stevens and/or Desjardins, that means the coaching search will not be over before the Stanley Cup and Calder Cup Finals conclude. That would mean the hire could come awfully close to the start of the June 27th NHL Entry Draft. The Kings-Rangers series will come to a end between June 11th and the 18th, while the Stars series with the St. John's IceCaps will not conclude until the 16th at the earliest and 23rd at the latest.

UPDATE: Recently fired Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is obviously now in the mix, as is current Panthers assistant John Madden, via the Sun-Sentinel.

UPDATE 2: via the Miami Herald, Tallon has not spoken with Bylsma yet, but "I do believe we will talk" and "see what his interest level is." This doesn't necessarily mean the Sentinel story is false, simply that someone other than Tallon made initial contact. And given the interest in this particular candidate, someone from Sunrise certainly reached out.