Earlier this morning, the rumors swirling around former Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville became official. Coach Q will return to the NHL next season after signing a five-year contract with the Florida Panthers. He will reunite with Panthers’ General Manager Dale Tallon, who notoriously drafted Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane during his tenure with the Blackhawks.
The Florida Panthers announced the hiring of former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville on Monday
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) April 8, 2019
The Florida Panthers made the first big splash of the offseason by signing one of the most successful head coaches in hockey history. Quenneville is currently second on the NHL’s all-time wins list, and he was behind the bench for all three of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cups in recent years. He reportedly chose to sign with the Panthers instead of the Philadelphia Flyers because of his relationship with Tallon, and his desire to coach Aleksander Barkov.
#FlaPanthers contract with new coach Joel Quenneville is this according to a source: 5 years, $5.25m per with bonuses that can hit $7m. Philly, apparently, did not get outbid but Q wanted to work with Dale and Barkov. And he likes Gulfstream Park. pic.twitter.com/bjgXdTThbs
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) April 8, 2019
The Panthers are also considered to be frontrunners in the Artemi Panarin + Sergei Bobrovsky sweepstakes this offseason. Although they have missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, things sure are starting to come together for Florida. They are a couple of pieces away from having a playoff-caliber lineup next season.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 8, 2019
Hopefully, the Chicago Blackhawks will be making some big splashes of their own this offseason.