When it comes to finding a new head coach, the Florida Panthers continue to wait for the dust to settle in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
That’s because Phil Housley is still working behind the bench as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, who face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final, with Game 1 going tonight.
According to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel on Sunday, citing an interview on NBC Sports Final, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon will indeed wait until after the championship series is decided to ask the Predators for permission to speak with Housley.
There had been conflicting reports earlier this month about whether the Panthers were done waiting for the playoffs to end before they advanced their search for a new coach.
Housley has emerged this spring as a strong candidate to potentially become a head coach next season.
There are currently two vacancies left in the league — in Buffalo and Florida. Housley began his NHL career with the Sabres in 1982, and played with that franchise until 1990.
Housley’s prime responsibilities in Nashville are working with its defensemen and the power play.
There have been many factors contributing to the Predators’ playoff run. At or near the top of the list has been the play and production from their blue liners, particularly Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm.