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Joel Quenneville Has Resigned as Coach of the Florida Panthers

It was announced on Thursday evening that Joel Quenneville has stepped down as head coach of the Florida Panthers.

The Florida Panthers have announced that Joel Quenneville will no longer be the coach of the team. He has resigned from his role as the coach. An interim coach announcement will be coming and there are a few candidates to take over, potentially becoming the team’s new long-term bench boss.

According to multiple reports, the meeting between Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has concluded in the afternoon on Thursday. A decision wasn’t made coming out of that meeting about his future, but there was talk as the day rolled along that Quenneville was likely not going to remain as coach.

The league office confirmed the two sides met in the New York headquarters of the NHL and GM Bill Zito was on hand for the meeting. That Zito was in the meeting likely signaled the Panthers’ organization would make a decision well before the league was forced to.

Related: Kevin Cheveldayoff, Joel Quenneville Named in Blackhawks Investigation

This news will not surprise some as many believed swift and decisive action was called for after it was revealed Quenneville lied about his knowledge of the sexual abuse that took place in 2010 between then video coach Brad Aldrich on Kyle Beach. Beach spoke yesterday in an emotional interview saying that he knew meetings that took place in Quenneville’s office regarding Beach’s coming forward about the abuse and Beach doesn’t believe the now-Panthers coach didn’t know. According to interviews with former Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman and former Blackhawks mental skills coach Jim Gary, a meeting took place on May 23 that Quenneville was said to be a part of. The abuse was discussed and reports suggest Quenneville was concerned with the idea of upsetting team chemistry during the playoff run.

Joel Quenneville Florida Panthers Coach
Joel Quenneville Florida Panthers Coach

As for what could come down here in the next few hours or days, there are a couple of rumored names that might take over. The top candidate seems to be John Tortorella, former coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Chris Johnston reports, “Joel Quenneville won’t face any additional punishment from the NHL at this time, but like Stan Bowman he’ll require a meeting and approval from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before taking another job in the league.”

Beach did say yesterday during his interview that he urges Bettman to take this matter seriously and heavily consider everything before rushing to a decision. That could be what Bettman was doing but the Panthers decided not to wait. It is assumed Zito and Quenneville had a follow-up conversation immediately following that meeting with Bettman and his fate was determined.

Quenneville released a statement and said:

“With deep regret and contrition, I announce my resignation as head coach of the Florida Panthers. I want to express my sorry for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach, has suffered. My former team the Blackhawks failed Kyle and I own my share of that. I want to reflect on how all of this happened and take the time to educate myself on ensuring hockey spaces are safe for everyone.”

Next: Three Takeaways from the Maple Leafs 3-2 Win Over the Blackhawks

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