https://twitter.com/GeorgeRichards/status/1115250615054229504You can chalk this up to pure coincidence, but my mischievous side would love to believe that this was done quite deliberately by the Florida Panthers.
Now as our readers will already know the Florida Panthers shocked the hockey world this morning when they officially announced former Chicago Blackhawks bench boss Joel Quenneville as their brand new head coach. It is arguably one of the biggest moves in the history of the Florida Panthers organization and it does a tremendous job of validating the franchise as a serious player in the NHL when you consider just how many teams would have loved to acquire Quenneville.
The Panthers released a statement to announce the move this morning:
Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the team has named Joel Quenneville as head coach of the Panthers.
"Joel is a three-time Stanley Cup champion head coach who will be a transformative leader for the Florida Panthers franchise," said Tallon. "We've seized the opportunity to add one of the most successful head coaches in hockey history and we're thrilled that Joel has agreed to take on the challenge of leading our promising young team. I've worked with Joel previously and have seen firsthand how his passion for the game, head coaching experience and leadership can impact an organization. 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."
Tallon of course was the man who hired Quenneville as the head coach in Chicago and is the man that many credit for building the dynasty that would go on to win 3 Stanley Cup Championships for the Blackhawks. Now however it seems like the Florida Panthers may benefit from yet another Chicago connection, one that would be another blockbuster move for the Panthers franchise.
According to a report from Panthers' insider George Richards of The Athletic the Panthers made the decision to serve "Panara Bread" today in the catering they provided for the media attending their press conference for the official announcement involving Quenneville. Now that may not seem like a big deal to the casual observer, but there is a major connection between Panara Bread and Joel Quenneville. You see it is that very same brand of bread that earned Columbus Blue Jackets star forward Artemi Panarin his infamous "Breadman" nick name, and it was reportedly Joel Quenneville that played a role in giving him that nick name.
Panarin has been linked several times to the Panthers in recent months with many believing that he will eventually join that franchise as a free agent, and from where I'm sitting it looks like the Panthers are strongly hinting at that fact as well. Like I said earlier this may be a pure coincidence, but I refuse to believe that.