Trotz, DeBoer among Panthers’ coaching targets

Posted: 18/06/2022 in NHL
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Andrew Brunette is a Jack Adams Award finalist after leading the Florida Panthers to a Presidents’ Trophy as the interim coach in 2021-22, but that hasn’t stopped the club from talking to multiple high-profile free agent bench bosses.

The Panthers have interviewed Barry Trotz, Peter DeBoer, Travis Green, Rick Tocchet, and will potentially speak to Paul Maurice, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.

Trotz is considered the biggest fish available. The two-time Jack Adams winner (2016, 2019) ranks third on the all-time wins list with 914 career victories. He coached the Nashville Predators for 15 years and the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders for four apiece. Considered a defensive mastermind, Trotz won a Stanley Cup with the Caps in 2018 and guided an unheralded Isles team to back-to-back conference final appearances in 2020 and 2021.

The 59-year-old intends to make his decision by July 1, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. In addition to interviewing with the Winnipeg Jets and Detroit Red Wings for their coaching vacancies, Trotz has also spoken with the Predators about a potential management role.

DeBoer got his NHL coaching start with the Panthers back in 2008. He coached the Cats for three seasons before stops with the New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, and Vegas Golden Knights, making Stanley Cup Final appearances with the Devils (2012) and Sharks (2016).

Tocchet spent last season as an analyst for TNT. He coached the Arizona Coyotes in the four years prior, leading them to one postseason appearance in 2019-20.

Green coached the Vancouver Canucks for parts of five seasons before the team fired him in December following an 8-15-2 record. He made one playoff appearance in 2019-20.

Maurice, who ranks seventh on the all-time wins list with 775 victories, coached the Winnipeg Jets for the last nine years before resigning in December. He also served as the bench boss for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes, the latter of whom he guided to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final.

After Florida’s second-round sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov gave Brunette a ringing endorsement.

“He did an unbelievable job,” Barkov said in May. “We all respect him, we all love to play for him, we love to work hard for him, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”

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