The Florida Panthers are hoping to have their head coaching situation settled by time the draft rolls around after letting go of interim coach Peter Horachek of his coaching duties earlier this week.
Early indications (mostly fan fueled hope) have pointed towards former Nashville Predator‘s bench boss Barry Trotz as the odds on favorite to be at the top of General Manager Dale Tallon‘s coaching wish list. Tallon has said he wants an ‘experienced coach for our franchise’.
As far as experience goes, there isn’t many out there like Trotz, who has been the only head coach that the Predators have known since they came into the league in 1998. In almost 1,200-games as Nashville’s coach, he won 557 games with a .533 win percentage.
His trademark has been defense, with Nashville always among the league’s best defensively. Peter Laviolette is another name that has been floated around. Laviolette has coached in 759-games and was also the bench for the Americans during the Olympics in 2006 and won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes.
One name that possibly forced itself into the realm of possibility was John Tortorella, who was let go by the Vancouver Canucks yesterday after just one season. If ‘Torts’ finds himself a new team, it will be the third team for him in as many seasons – could that third team be the Panthers?
Tortorella won the Stanley Cup with the other Sunshine State team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in 2003-2004. Outside of that, teams led by him have only reached the Conference Finals one other time. His antics has been criticized – much so of recently – leaving doubt whether or not the interest level for him will be as high as it once was.
I believe Tortorella, while experienced, should be so far down their list that they it would be pointless to even interview him. I would take Adam Oates and his year and a half worth of head coaching experience a shot before Tortorella.
His tirades with the media, his players, and the other team can be detrimental to the young locker room that they will have this upcoming season.
If you have to take one of these three coaches, who would it be? Why? What other options do you believe are out there?