It took former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville less than a year to be offered a job and it took the Florida Panthers less than a couple days to replace their coach, Bob Boughner, whom they fired on Monday morning. They officially acknowledged the second-winningest coach of all time, Quenneville, as the new man behind the bench that same day, hoping to spark the franchise point them in a new direction.
Boughner spent two seasons with the team, earning a total record of 80-62-22, missing the playoffs in both years with the club. Finishing fifth in the Atlantic division with 86 points this past season was a 10-point drop-off from where they were the previous year, causing issue for concern for Panthers president of hockey operations and general manager Dale Tallon. Quenneville will be their fourth coach in as many years, although the future looks much brighter with Coach Q running the team.
Before heading to south Florida to join the Panthers organization, Tallon was with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1998 to 2010 where he had held various positions from director of player personnel to general manager. In his last year with the team, Chicago won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years with head coach Joel Quenneville who joined the team in the 2008-2009 season. While Tallon made the move to Florida after the 2010 regular season, Joel Quenneville won two additional Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015, eventually becoming the second-winningest coach in NHL history.
With a career record of 890-532-214, Quenneville will be making more than $6 million annually in bonuses with Florida. In other words, this deal makes him one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. Toronto’s Mike Babcock currently has the richest contract with $6.25 million per year. While Florida hasn’t won a postseason series since 1996, Panther fans should feel comfortable with Coach Q taking control of the club.