The Florida Panthers are narrowing in on a new head coach, and according to Darren Dreger they have locked in on five potential candidates. It is believed that General Manager Dale Tallon will make a decision by Monday. Here is the rundown of the potential candidates.
Florida moved quickly on the former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach, contacting him the same day he was relieved of his coaching duties to express his interest. Among the coaches accolades, a Stanley Cup in 2009, coaching Team-USA at the most recent Olympics and being the fastest coach to reach 200-wins.
Wilson has coached over 1,400-games at the NHL level, making it to the Stanley Cup Final as the Washington Capitals coach and the Western Conference Finals when he was with the San Jose Sharks. He was most recently the head coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2008-to-2012, when he was fired. His 648-wins are the seventh most all-time.
Formerly the head coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2003-2007 when he was fired in the middle of the season, Gallant now serves as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens. Known as a tough as nails power forward during his playing days, the now 50-year old Gallant registered four consecutive seasons with 30+ goals and 200+ PIM.
Crawford has a bit of history with the Panthers, though not actually with the team. Crawford was the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche when they defeated Florida in the Stanley Cup Final. After winning the Stanley Cup, his team’s only made past the first round of the playoffs one time (Conference Finals the following year after Cup win).
Currently an assistant for the Detroit Red Wings, Peters’ mainly worked with the defenseman a penalty kill units in his first season as an assistant coach (last season). That is likely where the interest in him comes from with Florida, as they look to rebuild a bad penalty kill unit and a porous defensive core filled with young and inexperienced players. All though never coaching at the NHL level, he has coached at the junior and college levels.