Ron Wilson, veteran NHL coach, has interviewed with the Florida Panthers for the open coaching position. The franchise has been taking its time to evaluate potential candidates, trying to feel out the perfect fit. However, with the draft moving nearer, it seems the Panthers are ready to finally make a decision.
Wilson has coached 18 seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Throughout those 18 years, he was 648-561-91 with 101 ties over the course of 1,401 games. In addition, Wilson has been to the Stanley Cup eight times.
The search has been going for the Panthers since the end of the 2013-14 campaign when interim coach Peter Horachek was fired after going 26-36-4 in 66 games. Horachek had taken over for former coach Kevin Dineen who had been fired 16 games into the season.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has mentioned that the Panthers are definitely looking for experience as a key area to hiring someone to fill the position.The past three coaches, Dineen, Horachek and Peter DeBoer had no prior experience as an NHL head coach, and the team does not wish to repeat this trend.
Wilson has coaches since he was with the Maple Leafs and was fired in March 2012 during his fourth season with the team. He has kept a low profile ever sense, but now is out there looking to make his next move in his career. Becoming the coach of the Panthers could be an excellent move if he lands the job and is able to bring the teams stats up a notch.
Tallon has already met with former Stanley Cup-winning Avalanche coach Marc Crawford in addition to Red Wings assistants Tom Renney and Bill Peters