BlackburnNews.com file photo of former Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner, July 3, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Florida Panthers fire Bob Boughner, hire Joel Quenneville

The Florida Panthers gave the fans little time to speculate after firing Bob Boughner to announce former Windsorite Joel Quenneville as their new head coach.

Boughner, the former head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, was relieved of his head coaching duties by the Panthers Sunday, along with assistant coach Paul McFarland.

“We didn’t meet expectations this season and share responsibility for that fact,” said President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Dale Tallon in a statement from the Florida Panthers. “After careful evaluation, we have determined that this is a necessary first step for our young team and we will seek to identify a transformative, experienced head coach with Stanley Cup pedigree to lead our team going forward.”

The Panthers finished this past season 12 points out of playoff contention, and the season before the team was just one point out of the playoffs. Before that, Boughner coached the Spitfires to two Memorial Cup wins.

Less than 24 hours later, the team released a second statement which said it had hired Quenneville.

“We’ve seized the opportunity to add one of the most successful head coaches in hockey history, and we’re thrilled Joel has agreed to take on the challenge,” the statement quoted Tallon. “Joel will accelerate our growth into a club that qualifies for the playoffs consistently and competes every year toward our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

Quenneville, who was born in Windsor, has over 20 years of NHL head coaching experience having guided the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, and the Chicago Blackhawks with whom he won three Stanley Cups. He is the second most winningest coach in NHL history behind only Scotty Bowman.