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Apr 12, 2014; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers head coach Peter Horachek in the third period of a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at BB&T Center. The Blue Jackets won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers will have new coach before NHL Entry Draft

The Florida Panthers will “definitely” have a new head coach in place before the NHL Entry Draft starts on June 27, reports George Richards of the Miami Herald.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon says the team currently has five candidates its talking to and should be able to finalize a deal in the next few days. He wouldn’t give any specifics on the names involved, though it’s being rumored that former coaches Dan Bylsma, Marc Crawford and Gerard Gallant are being “seriously considered for the job.”

Detroir Red Wings assistants Tom Renney and Bill Peters are also being rumored as possible candidates for the job.

“They are all different guys and they are all interesting coaches,” Tallon told Richards. “We’ll find the right fit. We met with all of them in New York last week and now we’re narrowing things down.”

Tallon wouldn’t rule out waiting until next week to finalize the hire, but it seems unlikely the Panthers will be without a coach when the draft gets going next week. Carolina drafts No. 1 overall after winning the lottery and badly needs to hit on another strong young player to join a core featuring former Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau and second-year forward Aleksander Barkov.

Back in November 2013, the Panthers fired head coach Kevin Dineen and replaced him with interim coach Peter Horachek. After an underwhelming season that saw Carolina finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 36-35-11 record, the Panthers fired Horacek in late April.


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