One of the questions that are pondered when talking about the coaching cycle is why the Florida Panthers opted to move on from an interim head coach who won a playoff round with that roster and won the Jack Adams that same year. Andrew Brunette was given major props for allowing a strong Florida Panthers roster to live up to everything it did last year, but he’s done more than just that it seems.
After the Florida Panthers did not give Brunette the reigns for the roster, he went to join Lindy Ruff’s coaching staff in New Jersey and he was part of the coaching group that defeated the New York Rangers in their series in the 2022-23 playoffs. He’s shown on more than one occasion that he can be a good bench boss and if the New York Rangers were to give him control, he can manage the star players like he did in Florida.
One thing that may scare the Rangers is that the Florida Panthers opted to let him go in favor of Paul Maurice so that may be a red flag. Whether something was not right with how he managed the team or he just rode Joel Quennville’s system after he stepped away as the Cats coach is open for interpretation. We will likely never know why he wasn’t given the chance to step in full-time in Florida.
New York’s next coach is going to need to be able to get the best out of the veterans on the roster as well as the young kids. Brunette has shown success in both positions. Whether the Rangers opt to go to the route of Andrew Brunette or go for someone who is more experienced behind the bench is yet to be seen, but there is certainly a strong case to be made for the Devils’ assistant.