When Joel Quenneville was introduced as coach of the Florida Panthers, it was two days after their season had ended with an overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.
The players held their big postseason golf outing the morning before, had packed up their gear and taped up their sticks for the trip home.
In a few days, the NHL playoffs would start and the Panthers, again, would not be a part of them.
Remember this empty feeling, Quenneville told them.
“Next year we want to be … preparing for our first-round opponent,’’ Quenneville relayed to the media not long after meeting with his new players, many of whom were standing in the back of the room.