After being eliminated in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Florida Panthers changed their head coach. The Panthers will replace Jack Adams Award finalist Andrew Brunette with former Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice.
“At the conclusion of our season, we began an in-depth study of all aspects of our team. After spending an appropriate amount of time analyzing, we have determined that we need the perfect form to continue to grow our players and stay on track with our franchise goals.” This was announced by Panthers general manager Bill Zito in a press release.. “Paul’s experience and intelligence was exactly what we were looking for and we are very pleased to have him step into the role of head coach.”
According to TSN’s Darren Draeger, Maurice will receive a three-year contract. Draeger also said that the Brunette may remain in the organization in another capacity.
Maurice was the Jets’ head coach for the last nine seasons before retiring in December 2021. During his time at Winnipeg, Maurice compiled a 315–224–62 record and led the Jets to the playoffs in five of those seasons. Maurice’s most successful campaign came during the 2017–18 season when the Jets advanced to the Western Conference Finals where they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Maurice, 55, has also served as head coach for the Hartford Whalers, the Carolina Hurricanes (twice) and the Toronto Maple Leafs during his career. He led the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Finals as head coach in 2002.
Brunet was named interim head coach of the Panthers after Florida fired Joel Quenneville. Quenneville resigned due to his role in the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault investigation involving former player Kyle Beach and video coach. After Quenneville was fired, Brunet led the Panthers to a 51-18-6 regular season record and the President’s Trophy.
After defeating the Washington Capitals in six games in the first round of the postseason, the Panthers fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a series in which Florida only scored three goals.