I believe every Florida Panthers fan shook their heads simultaneously when news broke that Michel Therrien would be interviewed for the vacant head coaching spot. Though an experienced coach, he matched pretty much none of the criteria set in place by Dale Tallon at the beginning of the search.
"“We’re looking for a creative guy, a contemporary guy that is a good communicator, a good teacher,” Tallon told Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “(Someone) that can handle the younger player today and that can understand that they still have to be coached and mentored and taught, yet still have that passion to win.”"
However with the good comes the bad and while spending 12 years as a bench boss, he definitely hit some rough patches. Therrien has been blamed for “losing the room” on multiple occasions both in Pittsburgh and Montreal.
He’ll never live down the collapse that the Habs took in the 2002 playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes. He’d argue a cross-checking call to the point where he would be assessed a minor. The five on three was just what the Canes needed and started not only their comeback in the game, but also the series.
More recently, Therrien is known for his poor communication with younger players. There was an obvious rift in the Penguins locker room in 2009, and their struggles would ultimately lead to him being let go.
Players were on the record saying they weren’t “buying in” to the coaches’ systems and disciplinarian style. Pretty much the same story would go for his recent 5 year stay in Montreal.
After getting off to great starts each of the last two seasons, he never seemed to be able to rally the team around each other when times got tough. He’d instead publicly blame players and misuse talent on the roster.
This creating the most tension with players like P.K Subban and Alex Galchenyuk. He’d decide to play guys like David Desharnais and Tomas Fleischmann over Galchenyuk, really preventing him from being the goal scorer he has the potential to be.
So all in all, this isn’t the guy we want as the next head coach in South Florida. We want someone who will bring the best out of our young talent and not keep them in the dog house. Not that anyone wanted him to be the coach in the first place… Right?
As he doesn’t fit Tallons description and has a Florida home, his two interviews may have just been to bide time. Tallon seems to have a few more interviews to go and could be waiting on guys like, Rocky Thompson (Windsor Spitfires) and Phil Housley to get done with their respectable championship runs.