Panthers move quickly, hire Joel Quenneville as new coach

The Panthers already are squared away when it comes to their new head coach.

The team announced Monday morning that it had hired Joel Quenneville to take over at the helm.

“Joel is a three-time Stanley Cup champion head coach who will be a transformative leader for the Florida Panthers franchise,” general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. “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.”

Quenneville, 60, coached the Blues from 1996-97 to 2003-04, the Avalanche from 2005-06 to 2007-08 and the Blackhawks from 2008-09 to 2018-19. In that time, he won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks (2011, 2013 and 2015).

He has amassed a 890-532-77-137 record.

Quenneville is the Panthers’ 16th coach in their 25-year history. Florida’s front office is hoping Quenneville can break a playoff drought — the team hasn’t won a playoff series since its early years in 1996.

The hiring comes less than a day after the team fired Bob Boughner after two seasons, which saw the Panthers go 79-62-22.