Florida Panthers

Quenneville finalizes his Panthers coaching staff, which includes a former team captain

Panthers get Stanley Cup winning coach Joel Quenneville

Florida Panthers get legendary new head coach Joel Ouenneville two days after their season ended and missing the playoffs.
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Florida Panthers get legendary new head coach Joel Ouenneville two days after their season ended and missing the playoffs.

Joel Quenneville’s first Florida Panthers coaching staff is complete.

The Panthers announced Tuesday that Mike Kitchen, Andrew Brunette and Derek MacKenzie have been tabbed to be Quenneville’s assistant coaches, while Robb Tallas remains on staff for his 11th season as the Panthers’ goaltending coach.

“We have assembled a talented coaching staff with unique perspectives and a wealth of hockey experience,” Quenneville said in a release. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a proven coach and a quality person like Mike Kitchen again, as well as Andrew Brunette who is a bright, young, hockey mind who I coached as a player. It’s exciting to welcome former Panthers captain Derek MacKenzie to our staff as he enters the NHL coaching ranks following a great playing career. Together with longtime goaltending coach Robb Tallas, we are motivated by the task ahead of us. Our staff is eager to begin working towards our goal of bringing playoff hockey back to South Florida.”

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Kitchen, a former head coach for the St. Louis Blues from 2003-04 and 2006-07, has 25 years of NHL coaching experience, which includes two seasons with the Panthers (2007-08 and 2009-10) and stints with Quenneville as both a player and a coach.

Brunette spent the last seven years with the Minnesota Wild and played 14 years in the NHL. He played for Quenneville’s Blackhawks during his final NHL season in 2011-2012.

MacKenzie just finished up his 18-year NHL career, the final five of which he played for the Panthers. He served as an unofficial assistant coach last season while recovering from a season-ending shoulder injury. MacKenzie served as the Panthers’ team captain for two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18).

Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.
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