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THERE IS A SNEAKY CANDIDATE TO WATCH FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHERS COACHING STAFF

JUN 20, 2022  (15H37)      JON
Per Frank Seravalli, the Panthers are considering Suomi Men's National Team Coach Jukka Jalonen as a potential candidate in their search.


Seravalli's report doesn't specify whether or not Jalonen is being considered for their head coaching position or an assistant's role, but it is certainly an interesting option. The Finnish men's team has arguably never been better, winning Olympic Gold three times under Halonen's supervision. Also worth consideration, is the Panthers' Finnish captain, Aleksander Barkov, along with Finnish nationals Anton Lundell & Eetu Luostarinen. There would be familiarity between Jalonen & key parts of Florida's roster, which could make the transition easier for him.

Furthermore, the Panthers are in a unique situation this summer. Fresh off the President's Trophy & a disappointing playoff sweep, they aren't exactly in a position of strength & may need to get creative going forward. Per CapFriendly, the Panthers have $3 million to work with this summer & only 17 of 23 roster spots filled. Rumors have it Sergei Bobrovsky could be wearing a different sweater next year, along with F Patric Hörnqvist. Ipso facto, it might be time to get experimental with it for GM Bill Zito. And Jalonen is as qualified of an outside candidate as anyone.

It has long been speculated that there is an abundance of untapped hockey wisdom, talent, & acumen at the coaching/management levels among European nations. Both Sweden & Finland have emerged as hockey powerhouses in the last decade, and each possess great hockey minds. We've already witnessed the beginning of a wave of European's earning top management positions; Jarmo Kekalainen (GM, CBJ) & Patrik Allvin (GM, VAN) each appear to be doing great work with their respective clubs, and Swedish head coach Rikard Grönborg is highly sought after as well. Jalonen is the latest European name to surface for NHL consideration, and it could prove to be a wise maneuver for a team in need of some tinkering.
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