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FHN Today: Andrew Brunette Meets Florida Panthers in Newark

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Florida Panthers interim head coach Andrew Brunette gives instructions during overtime of the team's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 11, 2021. Brunette is now an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Florida Panthers went through a lot of changes during this past offseason — but the first big move was moving on from Andrew Brunette as the team’s coach.

When Paul Maurice was hired as new coach of the Panthers, he expressed interest in keeping Brunette on his staff although it is still not clear how much Brunette entertained the idea.

Word is, he was ready to move on as well.

Not long after Maurice was introduced as Florida’s new coach, Brunette signed a three-year deal to join Lindy Ruff’s staff in New Jersey.

Tonight, Brunette and the Devils meet the Panthers for the first time this season.

The Panthers will welcome Brunette back to Sunrise next week.

Brunette took over as the Panthers’ coach when Joel Quenneville suddenly resigned in the wake of the Kyle Beach sexual assault scandal with the Blackhawks.

As Florida’s interim coach, Brunette led Florida to its best regular season in franchise history as the team won the Presidents’ Trophy for the best record in the league.

Brunette was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for top coach in the league.

”I learned a lot,’’ said Brunette, who was the Atlantic coach at All-Star weekend and finished second in the Jack Adams voting for NHL Coach of the Year.

“I think I will take it with me and grow as a coach.”

Florida ended up interviewing a number of candidates — while allowing Brunette to look for work elsewhere — before landing on Maurice.

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“I mean, I love this team. Of course, I would love to,” Brunette said after Florida’s Game 4 loss to the Lightning when asked if he wanted to be the head coach moving forward.

“But those aren’t really my decisions. I have family I have to talk to and see … we were kind of thrown into this a little bit. I have to talk to my wife and see if, after playing for 20 years, if she’s on board for this.

”But, I love this group and I believe in it. I believe in them and am really proud of what they have accomplished. I think there is more.’’

As for the Devils, they have now lost their past four games after a 16-3-0 start.

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Things have not been going great for the Florida Panthers this season, but the solid play of Eetu Luostarinen has been a highlight so far.

— The Panthers took a 1-0 lead into the second period against Pittsburgh on Thursday night but two goals in the second was all the Penguins needed as Tristan Jarry was pretty darned good.

Pittsburgh scored twice on their power play and also a shorty from Kris Letang as they beat the Panthers again.

— Florida was had to play shorthanded Thursday as Matthew Tkachuk missed the Penguins game with whatever it is the team is going through right now.

We should now later today whether he plays against the Devils or not.

— The FHN YouTube Channel has plenty of postgame from Maurice, Ryan Lomberg and Carter Verhaeghe.

Check out all of our FHN videos RIGHT HERE or just click on the videos below and enjoy them when you want to.

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Jarry says he has been on some good runs with the Pittsburgh Penguins and some bad ones as well.

He is definitely on a heater right now.

Carter Hart has been keeping the Philadelphia Flyers in every game and he helped them beat the Devils on Thursday.

Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson keep working toward a return with the Washington Capitals.

Jakub Vrana is back with the Detroit Red Wings and says there are bigger things in life than just hockey.

— Could the Vegas Golden Knights get in on the Bo Horvat sweepstakes?

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT NEW JERSEY DEVILS

  • When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Prudential Center, Newark
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM 2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Last season: Florida won 2-1
  • All-time regular season series: Devils lead 56-33-7, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at Boston Bruins

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