The Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks made some noteworthy additions to their coaching staffs on Tuesday, finalizing both of their staffs for the 2019-20 season.
Let’s take a quick look at the hirings.
Blackhawks add Marc Crawford
Let’s start with the Blackhawks where the team announced that Marc Crawford was added as an assistant to serve under coach Jeremy Colliton, joining a staff that already had Sheldon Brookbank, Tomas Mitell (assistants) and Jimmy Waite (goaltending coach).
Before joining the Blackhawks, Crawford had been a part of the Ottawa Senators’ coaching staff since the 2016 season when he was hired as an associated head coach under Guy Boucher. When the Senators fired Boucher late in the 2018-19 season they made Crawford the interim coach to finish the season where he compiled a 7-10-1 record.
Marc’s son, Dylan Crawford, is an assistant video coach with the Blackhawks.
“Jeremy has an extremely bright and innovative mind and I am totally impressed by his presence and enthusiasm,” Crawford said in a statement released by the team.
“I know we will have a terrific relationship and my experience should benefit the entire coaching staff.”
Crawford definitely has plenty of experience having been a head coach for parts of 16 seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles, Dallas Stars, and Senators. He has compiled a 556-431-182 record in the league and won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche during the 1995-96 season. Despite that strong record and championship his teams missed the playoffs in each of the past five full seasons he was a head coach (with Los Angeles and Dallas).
The Blackhawks hired Colliton as their head coach early in the 2018-19 season after firing Joel Quenneville. They went 30-28-9 after the change.
Speaking of Quenneville…
Panthers finalize Quenneville’s coaching staff
After making Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup winning coach, one of the highlights of their offseason the Panthers finalized his coaching staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Mike Kitchen, Andrew Brunnette, and Derek MacKenzie as assistants.
Robb Tallas will also return as the team’s goaltending coach.
Kitchen is a long-time NHL assistant, while Brunnette spent several years working for the Minnesota Wild organization following the conclusion of his playing career.
MacKenzie spent the past five seasons as a player for the Panthers (he was limited to just one game this past season) and served as the team’s captain during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
“We have assembled a talented coaching staff with unique perspectives and a wealth of hockey experience,” said Quenneville in a team statement.
“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 MacKenzieto 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.”
The Panthers have a strong core of talent in place and are looking to rebound from a disappointing season and snap their current three-year playoff drought.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.