Paul Maurice finalizes Florida Panthers coaching staff
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The Florida Panthers, with a few holdovers, will have a new coaching staff this coming season.
Before the Panthers announced Paul Maurice would replace interim coach Andrew Brunette, word leaked that Derek MacKenzie and Ulf Samuelsson would not return as assistants.
Jamie Kompon, who has spent the past seven years as an assistant under Maurice in Winnipeg, will join the staff as expected.
Also joining holdovers Tuomo Ruuto and Robb Tallas is Sylvain Lefebvre and Myles Fee.
Kompon, 55, not only coached with Maurice and the Jets, but also served as an assistant under Joel Quenneville in Chicago from 2012-14 and Darryl Sutter in Los Angeles from 2006-12 — winning the Stanley Cup in consecutive years first with the Kings and then with Chicago.
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Lefebvre, 54, had spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL San Diego Gulls before leaving to join Brad Larsen’s new staff in Columbus in 2021.
A few months after joining the Blue Jackets, Lefebvre left in September after not getting a Covid-19 vaccination.
“It’s just impossible to do your job because of the NHL protocol, so we needed a new coach,” Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen said at the time according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“We had to move on. … You can’t go anywhere near the players, 12 feet, if you’re not vaccinated. You can’t travel on the plane, you can’t be in the locker room, you can’t be in the coaches’ office.”
It is not known whether Lefebvre has been vaccinated — or whether it will even be required by the NHL this coming season.
The NBA will not have a vaccination mandate for players and coaches this year which means the NHL may follow suit.
Lefebvre, who was a defenseman who played in 945 NHL games, was previously an AHL head coach with Laval, St. John’s and Hamilton while also serving as an assistant with the Avs and their AHL team in Cleveland.
He was part of the 1996 Colorado team that beat the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final.
Fee, 41, will be the team’s new video coach after spending the past three seasons in that role with the Buffalo Sabres. He was previously an assistant coach for the AHL Charlotte Checkers for three seasons.
Speaking of the Checkers, Geordie Kinnear will return as their coach after signing a new three-year deal with the Panthers.
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I didn’t see the phrase “powerplay coach” in the article. Who is going to handle that? Because we REALLY need a good one.
Someone will be doing it…
George, Tallas has been here a looooooooooooong time; through multiple coaches, GMs, owners, etc. Is he just that good? Also, any updates on the Goalie Excellence Academy?
He has been officially on staff since Pete DeBoer and worked with the team before that. Everyone loves him, especially Lu — which carries a lot of weight.
Speaking of Lu… Any chance he learns the ropes with the Panthers and gets plucked by another team seeking management help. or is he a lifer?
Of course there is a chance, perhaps it is likely down the road. The Panthers are not going to hold anyone back — yet are happy it appears their entire front office will return next season.