As per a number of reports on Wednesday morning, there has been a coaching change in Florida. The Panthers have ultimately decided that Jack Adams finalist, Andrew Brunette is out and former Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice is in. It is the first time in NHL history that a coach who was just up for coach of the year was demoted in the same season and it suggests the Panthers were not at all happy about their early 2022 playoff exit.
Related: Panthers Actively Trying to Trade Sergei Bobrovsky
Maurice is a good coach. Then again, so was Brunette. He was given the interim head coaching position under difficult circumstances as Joel Quenneville was removed by the organization and the NHL in light of allegations against the Chicago Blackhawks (where Quenneville was the coaching during the Kyle Beach incident) and Brunette kept the Panthers on the winning side of the ledger, leading them to the Presidents’ Trophy.
Brunette could still remain with the organization as he was one more season remaining on his current assistant coaching contract. It is not clear if the Panthers will allow him to seek a head coaching position or if he’ll ask to be released from that contract. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff is reporting: “Source says Andrew Brunette will be offered a “significant role” to remain with the team if he’s interested.”
There are a few coaching jobs still available for Brunette to take, should he want and other teams come calling. Among them, the Boston Bruins might have an interest.
In the past few days, the coaching vacancies have started to fill up. Pete DeBoer was hired by Dallas, Jay Woodcroft was hired by the Edmonton Oilers, and John Tortorella by the Philadelphia Flyers. It would be really something if Brunette was hired in Winnipeg, the team Maurice just left.
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