While many have expected the Florida Panthers to go with a new face for their next coaching job, Eric Engels of Sportsnet now reports that a familiar name has surfaced. Michel Therrien is among the candidates for the head coaching vacancy, though there is no word on how far into the process the team is. Engels clarifies that Therrien shouldn’t be considered the leading candidate for the job, just that he’s on GM Dale Tallon’s “list”.
Therrien of course was dismissed by the Montreal Canadiens earlier this year, and would thus would require permission to speak to. It would be hard to imagine the Canadiens not granting it though, even for a division rival. Therrien was in the midst of a four-year contract extension that would have kept him in Montreal through 2018-19, but was replaced by Claude Julien mid-season. Julien had just been fired by the Boston Bruins, who allowed the Habs to hire him almost immediately.
Despite Therrien’s excellent 406-303-105 coaching record with Montreal and Pittsburgh, he’s only taken a team to the Stanley Cup Finals once and never won hockey’s biggest prize. While he has been respected in the game for many years, he also has been said to have somewhat of a shelf-life not unlike many other fiery bench bosses around the league. With a team like Florida, it would be an interesting fit for a team that has a mix of youth and veterans vying for playing time.