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Report: Panthers want experienced coach; Crawford, Renney among candidates

Robert Galbraith / REUTERS

The Florida Panthers have yet to name a replacement for interim head coach Peter Horachek, who was fired in late April after less than one full season on the job.

The Panthers are one of only four teams with a head coach vacancy at the moment (along with the Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, and Washington Capitals who are reportedly close to hiring Barry Trotz). Unlike the other teams with a vacancy, however, the Panthers are reportedly placing a premium on head coaching experience.

From CBC's Elliotte Friedman:

Other openings? For Florida, I'm hearing people with lengthy resumes -- Marc Crawford, Tom Renney, maybe Ron Wilson. The question is if the Panthers widen the search if they run out of what they consider to be experienced options.

Crawford hasn't held down a head coaching job since the Dallas Stars burned out of a postseason berth on the very last day of the season by coughing up a third period lead against the Minnesota Wild. He hasn't led an NHL team to the postseason since before the first NHL lockout, despite coaching for five seasons with three different teams between the 2005-06 and 2010-11 seasons.

Renney is currently an associate coach with the Detroit Red Wings. The former New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers head coach last held down a top job with the Oilers, where he presided over an enormous improvement in the club's special teams play in his final season on the job.

Wilson hasn't coached since he was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012. Wilson's Maple Leafs were generally a lot better than their record would've suggested, but were consistently betrayed by woeful goaltending. It might be interesting to see what Wilson can do in Florida with a talented young lineup and Roberto Luongo in net.

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