Former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville stayed away from hockey for most of the season after he was let go by the club, but now it appears he’s close to accepting another deal with a former employer.
According to numerous reports, the Florida Panthers are aggressively pursuing Quenneville as their head coach. According to ESPN, the Panthers have offered Quenneville a multi-year deal worth more than $6 million a season, and the Blackhawks have given the Panthers permission to interview the coach, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Former Blackhawks G.M. Dale Tallon occupies that same position with the Panthers, and he and Quenneville are very familiar with one another. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, talks are rapidly moving along between the two sides, and a deal could be close.
The news comes as numerous teams opt to make changes in their head coaching position. The Panthers fired Bob Boughner as head coach on Sunday, and the Buffalo Sabres fired head coach Phil Housley. The Los Angeles Kings also informed interim head coach Willie Desjardins that he will not be retained, bringing the total number of potential NHL openings to eight.