In what was an eventful week for the Florida Panthers, there were a couple more hockey minds joining the team after announcing the hiring of Chris Pronger. Bob Boughner found the assistants that will accompany him for his first season behind the bench as an NHL head coach.
Jack Capuano was the one who got the most attention, being that he was just recently head coach of the New York Islanders. Since Capuano is someone who coached on many levels for a while, he’ll serve as a solid mentor to Boughner.
Cappy worked his way up from the ECHL Pee Dee Pride where he spent 1997-2005 as a GM/Coach. He’d finish his ECHL career at 312-216-52 before joining the Islanders organization. In 2005-06, Capuano would serve as an assistant coach with New York.
Come the 2007-08 season, he’d go on to be named head coach of the minor league affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In his four seasons with the Sound Tigers, Capuano would have a record of 133-108-13.
He was then promoted in November of 2010 to head coach of the Islanders. In his seven seasons spent with the Isles (227-194-64) Cappy was only second to hall of famer Al Arbor in wins as a coach of the team.
Paul McFarland was the other coach that was hired and this was a very good, under the radar addition. He doesn’t host the body of work that Capuano or even Boughner have when it comes to coaching experience. However, McFarland shouldn’t be under looked because of that, in his 3 year stretch as an OHL coach he’s found lots of success.
The 31-year-old coached the Kingston Frontenacs to a collective 111-71-13-9 record throughout his tenure. Leading his teams to the playoffs every season but his trips were often cut short, in either the first or second round.
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He’ll serve as a great communicator for the players and especially younger guys, something he was commended for in the OHL. McFarland may also be familiar with the younger guys coming up through the Panthers system like Adam Mascherin, Jonathan Ang and Riley Stillman.
Now that the Cats have their coaches in place, they’ll need to find some scoring. The defense seems pretty solidified but the issues at wing need to be addressed. Look for Dale Tallon to be making some moves and calls within the next couple weeks, as he said the roster you see now isn’t what will be on the ice in October. (Obviously Dale, there’s not enough players)