Panthers turn to Joel Quenneville

Dale Tallon and Joel Quenneville are reunited again and the Florida Panthers want them to recreate their magic.

Quenneville – the second most successful coach in NHL history – has been named head coach of the Panthers, who have begun their off-season with this feat. It was also a reunion as Tallon hired Quenneville as the Chicago Blackhawks’ coach in 2008 and eventually saw him win three Stanley Cups in six years.

Tallon, however, was no longer in Chicago for these conquests since he was fired less than a year after having attracted Quenneville. He now has the opportunity to work with Quenneville again.

“Fate is a wonderful thing in my life,” said Tallon. It’s a blessing. Many coaching positions are available. We wanted it to be quick because he’s a popular guy and many teams would like to have him as a coach. ”

It is a bold gesture on the part of the Panthers, who did not hesitate to take out the checkbook to ensure the services of Quenneville. The Blackhawks owed him 6 million US for the 2019-2020 season and it is estimated that this hiring keeps him in this salary range. It also represents a radical change in the mindset of the organization as five of the last six coaches hired were in their first NHL experience.

This is far from the case of Quenneville. His 890 wins put him in second place behind Scotty Bowman in NHL history. He is one of 11 coaches with three Stanley Cups on his resume.

The Panthers desperately want to see him win a fourth.

“His record is impeccable,” said Tallon. I think this will give a big boost to the whole organization, on and off the ice. It’s a great moment. It’s a big step forward for our dealership. ”

Quenneville replaces Bob Boughner, fired Sunday after two seasons. Tallon was not trying to dismiss Boughner and said he still held him in high esteem.

But when Tallon read an article suggesting that Quenneville was anxious to get back on the job, the process accelerated. Tallon – a supporter of the rules, so he did not immediately address his friend Quenneville – began by going to the home of the owner of the Panthers, Vincent Viola, to discuss options and establish a strategy. He then got permission from the Blackhawks to talk with Quenneville, fired in November and still under contract with them.

Then, the great seduction began. Late Sunday, an agreement was reached. And Monday morning, she was announced.

“It does not happen very often, opportunities like this one,” said Tallon. We had to think about what was best for the long-term dealership. And it’s a fabulous day for us. ”

Some of the former Quenneville players in Chicago, aware of the possibility of hiring him in Florida on Sunday, immediately reacted positively.

“Happy for him. Happy for Dale too, said Patrick Kane, Blackhawks star player. I know they’ve started together here, so I’m sure they’ll be a good team and win a lot of games. ”

Quenneville’s decision to settle in Florida is not surprising in many ways. He loves golf. He loves horse racing just like Viola. He and Tallon stayed close.

And the future of the team looks promising on the rink.

The Panthers have a strong core of offensive players – Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Evgeni Dadonov and Mike Hoffman have all had good offensive seasons and Vincent Trocheck has emerged as a leader in the locker room. Goalkeeper Roberto Luongo, if he returns, is another obvious leader. And the team plans to be very aggressive on 1 st July to find players that will strengthen a porous defensive immediately.

The presence of Quenneville will make Florida even more attractive to independent players.

“I do not want expectations to be,” Oh, fight for a playoff spot, “said Tallon. We want to be the best. Vinnie gave us this opportunity. He wants to win, I want to win, and now it sends the message to the whole hockey world. This team is in business. And we will take care of it. ”