Murph’s Musings: Panthers Zeroing In On New Head Coach

Bill Peters
Bill Peters
Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock left talks with assistant coach Bill Peters right during the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobingcom Arena Matt Kartozian USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple NHL sources, the Florida Panthers are zeroing in on a new head coach. This past Tuesday the Florida Sun Sentinel reported that the Panthers were talking to former Rangers bench boss and current Red Wings Associate Coach Tom Renney and that former Canucks head coach Marc Crawford was also in the mix. Well the sources confirmed to Murph’s Musings that the Panthers did indeed interview Renney and Crawford as well another current Red Wings assistant coach, Bill Peters.

Disputing the report in the Sun Sentinel, the sources also confirmed that before he took the job in Washington new Capitals coach Barry Trotz was interviewed by Panthers general manager Dale Tallon as well. But Trotz eventually decided on the Capitals job.

The Panthers are definitely looking for someone with experience as the report said but are still open to another first time coach like Peters who has had plenty of experience developing young players. Peters led the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League to a franchise record 50 wins and 107 points in 2008, and guided the Chiefs to the 2008 Memorial Cup title with Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski between the pipes.

From all accounts, the new Panthers coach could be named within a week, maybe sooner.

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James Murphy
Jimmy Murphy has covered the NHL in print, radio and television for the last 13 years. In addition to his work here at, he currently hosts The Top Shelf Radio Show heard every Monday-Friday 1-3 PM ET on and 2-3 PM ET on Sirius/XM NHL Network Radio.