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Florida Panthers fire head coach Peter DeBoer after 3 full seasons

Apr 10, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

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Screen shot 2011-04-10 at 10.59.58 AM AP

Upon hearing that the Ottawa Senators fired coach Cory Clouston, my reaction was that it was a reasonable decision only a day after the team made a not-so reasonable one. The Florida Panthers decided to make a coaching change of their own this morning, as George Richards reports that the team fired head coach Peter DeBoer after three seasons at the helm.

Richards reports that DeBoer sounded “relieved” when discussing the firing, which might be an understandable reaction after the coach struggled with a low-end roster during his days as the coach.

This situation shouldn’t surprise anyone. While I empathize with DeBoer because he wasn’t given much to work with, new general managers usually prefer to hire coaches rather than inherit ones from a previous regime. Florida GM Dale Tallon allowed DeBoer one full season to retain the job and the team finished in last place in the East and third worst overall.

DeBoer never made the playoffs in his three seasons, going 103-107-36 in that span, with each season’s record getting progressively worse.

That might make DeBoer sound like a failure, but when you consider the fact that the Panthers haven’t made the playoffs since the 1999-2000 season, it’s obvious that he isn’t the only one at fault.

Overall, though, I like what I’m seeing from Tallon from a long-term perspective. He made a lot of moves to add draft picks up and down the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and should get another strong pick this year. He’ll also get the opportunity to hire “his” guy for next season, so it should be interesting to see how that goes.

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