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Potential head coach candidates for the Florida Panthers

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Florida panthers coach candidates
If the Florida Panthers are looking for an experienced head coach after Joel Quenneville resigned, there are some options out there. From bottom left: Bruce Boudreau, Dan Bylsma, Mike Babcock, Claude Julien and John Tortorella.

Hard to believe, but the Florida Panthers are looking at candidates to be their new head coach just seven — soon to be eight — games into their season.

And it’s not because the Panthers are on some historic losing streak, far from it.

The Panthers are, in fact, off to their best start in history and one of the best starts in the entire history of the NHL.

Yet with the shocking turn of events over the past couple of days — which saw Joel Quenneville turn in his resignation on Thursday — the Panthers are now in the market for a new coach.

Not the best time to be making such a search, but so it goes.

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Many of the top coaching candidates already got jobs during the offseason although one of the top coaching free agents in 2021 — Gerard Gallant — probably wouldn’t come back to Sunrise anyway.

There are a number of experienced coaches out on the free agent market although all of them carry some degree of baggage.

The good thing is, this Florida team looks like it could run on autopilot, at least for a while.

Florida is said to be looking for a head coach who has won in the NHL in the past.

Nothing against new interim coach Andrew Brunette, but his coaching experience is limited to being an assistant: first with the Minnesota Wild and then the past three seasons here with the Panthers.

If general manager Bill Zito is looking for a coach with some wins on his resume, he doesn’t have to look far.

With the way the Panthers look right now, this job will not be a tough sell.

In fact, one potential candidate appeared to be interviewing for the gig on ESPN on Wednesday afternoon.

POTENTIAL FLORIDA PANTHERS COACHING CANDIDATES

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