The Florida Panthers have hired the biggest name on the coaching market, bringing in Joel Quenneville to take over from the recently fired Bob Boughner. Panthers GM Dale Tallon has a long history with Quenneville from their days together with the Chicago Blackhawks, and released a lengthy statement about the hiring.
Joel is a three-time Stanley Cup champion head coach who will be a transformative leader for the Florida Panthers franchise. 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.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweets that Quenneville’s contract is a five-year deal worth more than $6MM per season depending on his bonuses. Quenneville had been making $6MM with the Blackhawks. This new deal will put him right back near the top of the heap in terms of coaching salary, a huge commitment from a franchise that is obviously sick of missing the playoffs.
Bringing in Quenneville is the first move of what should be a very exciting summer for the Panthers organization, as the team moved out quite a bit of salary at the deadline in order to be active players in free agency. Already there have been rumors of Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin being the top targets, and Quenneville’s familiarity with the Russian sniper can only help that chase. Florida has several top players already like Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck and Aaron Ekblad, but weren’t able to find much consistency under Boughner.
In Quenneville, they will now bring in one of the most successful—and consistent—coaches of all-time. In fact, the 2017-18 season is currently the only year that Quenneville has finished with a losing record, even coaching the Blackhawks to a .500 record (6-6-3) in the 15 games before being fired this year. Overall he will join Florida with a career .609 winning percentage and more wins than any coach not named Scotty Bowman. Three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks solidifies him as one of the greatest, and will get him into the Hockey Hall of Fame at some point regardless of what this next chapter brings.