Florida Panthers Coaching Search 2017; Part 1


Welcome to Part 1 of our Florida Panthers Coaching Search. Tom Rowe is the interim coach and has not worked out. I decided to give Dale Tallon a hand and came up with a list of 20 names for the coaching spot. Since I implemented a new 1,000 words maximum limit per post, I will have to split this up. I had room to include 7 of these 20 names on part 1. Now keep in mind these are just candidates. I want to know what you guys think of this list. I will have part 2 up hopefully sometime on Friday or Saturday. I will keep going until all 20 names have been listed. Let’s get started!

Ken Hitchcock

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Experience As NHL Coach: Yes

Current Position: None; Fired by St Louis as head coach on February 1, 2017

Coaching Career: Dallas (1995-2002); Philadelphia (2002-06); Columbus (2006-10); St Louis (2011-17)

All Time NHL Coaching Record: 1,454 Games  781-474-88-111; 86-82 Playoffs; 1 Stanley Cup (Won with Dallas in 1998-99)

Hitchcock is by no contest, the #1 name on this list. Hitchcock has coached for several years. He has been successful too. Playing a tough defensive game that gives scoring chances for his forwards, Hitch is known as an old school coach. Hitchcock, however said he plans to retire, but maybe the Panthers can recruit the 65 year old legendary team builder for one last ride.

Marc Crawford

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Experience as NHL Coach: Yes

Current Position: Associate Coach for the Ottawa Senators

NHL Coaching Career : Quebec/Colorado (1994-98); Vancouver (1998-2006); Los Angeles (2006-08); Dallas (2009-11)

All Time NHL Coaching Record: 1151 GP; 549-421-100-77; 43-40 Playoffs; 1 Stanley Cup Won (1995-96 with Colorado)

Crawford is another lead candidate for this position. The only problem that prevents the Cats from really going after him is that he was the coach of the Avalanche when they beat the Panthers in 1996. Crawford has spent awhile in Ottawa. He could help the powerplay. I don’t know why he hasn’t had a head coach spot in a while. However, while Crawford’s teams made the playoffs in 8 of his first 10 years as a head coach; they have missed in his last 5 years.

Jack “Mohawk” Capuano

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Experience As an NHL Head Coach: Yes

Current Position: Unemployed; fired by NYI on Jan 17, 2017

NHL Coaching Career: New York Islanders (2010-17)

All Time NHL Coaching Record: 483 Games; 227-192-64; 10-14 Playoffs

Capuano is another candidate. After finally getting pushed out of Brooklyn, he is currently waiting for a coaching position. However, with the Bruins and Blues happy with their interim guys, he is waiting. Capuano makes some sense with the Cats. He likes to play dump and chase and is a good powerplay guy. Not to mention how Panther fans will use his hair in funny memes on Twitter. With Gallant as the front runner in Brooklyn, it would be ironic if Gallant and Capuano coach against each other only each of them on different benches. However, as the Isles proved this year, Capuano needs 3 top line forwards and solid depth as well as solid goaltending to succeed. The Cats have all 3.

Michell “Kermit” Therrien

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Experience as an NHL Coach: Yes

Current Position: Unemployed; Fired by the Montreal Canadiens on February 14, 2017

NHL Coaching Career: Montreal Canadians (2000-03; 2012-17) Pittsburgh (2005-09)

All Time NHL Coaching Record: 756 Games; 375-284-26-73

Therrien is an okay coach. He needs solid forwards to succeed. He almost won a cup in Pittsburgh but was fired before the Pens won the cup in the same season he was fired. However, most of the blame for Montreal’s collapse has to be given to Marc Bergevin and Carey Price. Price got hurt and Bergevin didn’t get the Habs solid forward depth and a solid #2 defenseman for insurance as Brandon Gallagher and PK Subban also got injured. Bergevin corrected his mistake by getting Andrew Shaw and other guys along with drafting underrated defenseman Mikhali Sergachev. However, when Julien hit the market it was bye bye Therrien. I’m not sure how Therrien will do in Florida if they hire him. He isn’t near the top of my list but if we have too, I can live with settling for Kermit the Frog.

Ted Nolan

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Experience as an NHL Coach: Yes

Current Position: Philantropist; Fired by the Sabres in April 2015

NHL Coaching Career: Buffalo Sabres (1995-97; 2013-15); NY Islanders (2006-08)

All Time NHL Coaching Record: 472 Games; 188-227-57; Playoffs: 6-11

This guy has been off the radar. The 1997 Jack Adams Award Winner has been known for having problems with management which is why he hasn’t been hired. However, he could help the Panthers out and will maybe just be happy he got a job. He is also some sort of Native American and opposing fans have been mean to him to say the least.

Todd Richards

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Experience as an NHL Coach: Yes

Current Position: Assistant Coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Coaching Career: Minnesota Wild (2009-11); Columbus Blue Jackets (2011-15)

All Time NHL Coaching Record: 417 Games; 204-176-37; Playoffs: 2-4

Richards has had his ups but mostly downs in his coaching career. He was fired after the Blue Jackets went 0-7 in their first 7 games in 2015-16. However he has a tenacity of getting his teams to sneak up on you and make you push harder. The Capitals didn’t push hard enough in 2013-14 and the Jackets made it instead of them. A former defenseman, he brings a defensive aspect to the game that the Panthers need.

Bob Hartley

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Experience as an NHL Coach: Yes
Current Position: Head Coach of the Lativa Men’s Ice Hockey National Team
NHL Coaching Career: Colorado Avalanche (1998-2002); Atlanta Thrashers (2003-08); Calgary Flames (2012-16)
All Time NHL Coaching Record: 944 Games 463-361-61-59; Playoffs: 54-41; Won 1 Stanley Cup (2000-01 in Colorado)
The Jack Adams award winner was fired by the Flames and no one picked him up except Lativa. He has an impressive track record. However, he is a very offensive minded coach. In Calgary, the team’s goaltending cost him his job. With the Panthers, games will likely be more entertaining. I’d rather win 7-4 then win 2-1. It’s exciting hockey. However, being a national coach is a big honor and picking between an NHL team and national job is very hard for most coaches.
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3 thoughts on “Florida Panthers Coaching Search 2017; Part 1

  1. Never was a Hitchkock fan, not sure the fragile egos of the Panthers could handle it. Same for Therrien. To clarify, took Penguins to finals and lost in 2008. Next season he was fired in February and replaced by Bylsma who then won the Cup. Very strict on defensive play, might choke life out of Panthers core but Sid and Malkin survived without emotional scars. I like Crawford most of this group. Capuano and Nolan are also names I’m used to seeing from watching a lot of Metro hockey.

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