This past season was a turbulent success that ended poorly for the Florida Panthers. The young team won the Presidents Trophy with the league’s best record despite the removal of Joel Quenneville as their head coach less than one month into the season (he officially resigned on Oct. 28).
Former Blackhawks forward Andrew Brunette was installed as the interim head coach; he had been an assistant on Quenneville’s staff and played for him in Chicago. He guided the team the rest of the way and is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award (coach of the year).
But now it appears he could be named the league’s top coach and lose his temporary job.
Paul Maurice was the first head coach hired by the new Winnipeg Jets and spent nine seasons behind the bench. But in early December of this year, he retired citing personal reasons.
“If you’ll allow me some arrogance, I feel I’m better positioned than anyone to know that they need a new voice,” Maurice said at the time. “They haven’t quit on me. But they need somebody that can get them to that next place.”
Winnipeg is still searching for their next head coach; they’re desperately chasing Barry Trotz. But Maurice heading to Florida is a fascinating hire for a team that has lofty expectations.