Amid scandal, Quenneville resigns as Florida Panthers coach
Joel Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers on Thursday, two days after the second-winningest coach in NHL history was among those implicated for not swiftly responding to allegations by a Chicago Blackhawks player of being sexually assaulted by another coach during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad out for season with leg fracture
Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the BB&T Center on February 13, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers are going to be without one of their most relied upon players for the remainder of the season. Defenseman Aaron Ekblad is expected to miss 12 weeks after having successful surgery to repair a fracture in his left leg, the team announced Monday. The 2014 first overall pick came down awkwardly and instantly began screaming in pain and grabbing for his left leg. Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville indicated as much after the game, saying he thought Ekblad would miss an “extensive” amount of time.
Aaron Ekblad injured in Panthers’ 4-1 win over Stars
Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers celebrates teammate Brett Connolly's goal against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on February 11, 2020. DALLAS – Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice in the first period and the Florida Panthers beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 after losing standout defenseman Aaron Ekblad to a serious leg injury. Ekblad was taken off on a stretcher midway through the second period after getting tangled up in the corner with Stars defenseman Esa Lindell following a hit from Lindell. Rookie Jason Robertson scored and Jake Oettinger had 19 saves for the Stars, who went 1-2-2 during a five-game homestand. He scored the winning goal in overtime Saturday night against the Stars.
Ekblad’s goal in OT gives Panthers 4-3 win over Stars
Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers makes a save against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on March 25, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. DALLAS – Aaron Ekblad scored with 9.3 seconds left in overtime after his apparent winner moments earlier was wiped out by a replay review, and the Florida Panthers beat the Dallas Stars 4-3. Carter Verhaeghe got the Panthers to overtime with a hat trick and they snapped a three-game losing streak that marked their longest of the season. Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves in the first of back-to-back games between the teams in Dallas. Denis Gurianov, John Klingberg and Joel L’Esperance scored for the Stars, who were coming off Thursday’s victory over NHL-leading Tampa Bay but haven’t won consecutive games since opening the season 4-0-0.
Chemistry 101: Panthers top pairing of Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar become one of NHL’s best
One of the most consistent elements of the surging Panthers has been the team’s top defensive pairing of Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar. Examining just 5-on-5 play, Ekblad and Weegar have combined for 17 points (4-13-17) and a plus-4 on-ice rating while holding nearly identical Corsi For Percentages (53.9 for Weegar, 53.8 for Ekblad). “I thought I had it with Brian Campbell, and it was great,” Ekblad said. “You can tell they’re having fun and they’re both playing great,” said Panthers alternate captain Keith Yandle. “(Ekblad and Weegar) remind me of those two guys, and you know their story was spectacular.
Ekblad’s four points leads Panthers over Predators 5-4
Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers celebrates teammate Brett Connolly's goal against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on February 11, 2020. NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Aaron Ekblad had two goals and two assists to lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators. Carter Verhaeghe, Mason Marchment and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for Florida, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Aleksander Barkov had three assists and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves for the Panthers. Mattias Ekholm, Filip Forsberg, Colton Sissons and Ryan Johansen scored for Nashville, which has lost two straight.
‘It is what it is’: Panthers won’t be using postponed games and condensed schedule as an excuse
Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville speaks to his players following a practice at the BB&T Center on January 22, 2021. SUNRISE, Fla. – We knew going into the 2020-21 NHL season that things were going to be far from the status quo. The ongoing, and once again surging coronavirus pandemic was going to produce unknown hurdles and obstacles throughout the condensed campaign. The Stars’ season wouldn’t begin until at least Jan. 22, which meant their two-game schedule opening set in Sunrise against the Panthers would be postponed. That means the team will need play 54 games in the span of 103 days.
10 Observations: Panthers training camp scrimmage reveals which rookies may be ready for spotlight
A lot of guys had good nights and some guys were alright.”“I liked the tempo of the game,” Quenneville continued. Putting it all together, that consistency is something that I really think he’s improving at. Sure, some rust may have shown during the scrimmage, but that’s to be expected during training camp. It felt good, and luckily a couple went in.”Said Q: “I think he’s coming on in training camp. Said Q: “They’ll be pushing one another right now as we get closer to the first game, but Monty certainly helped himself tonight with a real good game.
MacKenzie Weegar ‘couldn’t be happier’ to sign 3-year deal, likes gritty direction Panthers are heading
SUNRISE, Fla. – November has been a pretty good month for Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar. It was no secret that Weegar wanted to remain with the Panthers, the team that selected him in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft. “I know (Aaron Ekblad) is down there and he’s saying (Panthers strength and conditioning coach Mike Donoghue) is back there working with those guys,” Weegar said. The Panthers also filled a vacancy on the coaching staff, hiring former NHL defenseman Ulf Samuelsson as an assistant. “Ulf is a knowledgeable and experienced coach who will be a great addition to the Panthers,” Zito said in a statement released by the team.
Defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, Panthers agree on three-year contract extension
SUNRISE, Fla. – MacKenzie Weegar wanted to stay in South Florida. Bill Zito wanted to keep Weegar in a Florida Panthers sweater. Zito and the Panthers have signed Weegar, a restricted free agent, to a three-year contract extension, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 8. Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar of the Florida Panthers. (Getty Images)“I think he’s a wonderful player,” Zito said of Weegar when speaking to the media in early October.
Varlamov stops 27 shots, Isles beat Panthers 2-1 in Game 1
TORONTO, ONT Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots and the New York Islanders opened their best-of-five playoff series with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday in the NHLs return following a 4 1/2-month break. Islanders trade deadline addition Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring re-directing in Derick Brassards centering pass 12 minutes into the game. The Islanders beat Florida for the fifth straight time, dating to the 2018-19 regular season, and continued keeping the high-scoring Panthers in check. NOTES: Panthers Joel Quenneville coached his 216th career playoff game, which ranks second on the all-time list. This is the second playoff meeting after the Islanders eliminated the Panthers in six games of a first-round series in 2016.
Panthers arrive in strange new world, adjusting quickly to Toronto safety bubble
TORONTO Toronto is considered by many as the hockey capital of the world, and there isn't a player or coach on the Florida Panthers that hasn't been there countless times before. "I've never seen a place where you have to go through security to leave the hotel, but you don't have to go through security to get into the hotel," said Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville. "I think the NHL did a really good job," Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau said during the team's first Zoom meeting from the bubble on Monday. EKBLAD RETURNSThe Panthers held their first bubble practice on Monday at the Ford Performance Centre, which doubles as the Toronto Maple Leafs official training facility. Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky takes part in a practice at the Ford Performance Centre in Toronto, Ontario on July 27, 2020.
Despite missing consecutive practices, Joel Quenneville deems Aaron Ekblad ready for Qualifiers
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. One of the more unsung heroes for the Florida Panthers this season has been defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Playing his sixth year in the NHL after being selected first overall by Florida in 2014, Ekblad saw his all-around game blossom under new head coach Joel Quenneville. If you're a d-man with above-average offensive skill, odds are you'll be working the point while on the man advantage. "Not fit to go today," was the answer from Quenneville when asked about Ekblad's second consecutive absence. Aleksi Saarela of the Florida Panthers forechecks during a 5-4 Los Angeles Kings win at Staples Center on February 20, 2020.
Expect Panthers to lean heavily on defensive pairing of Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar in Qualifying Round and beyond
Just ask Florida Panthers defensemen Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar. During the first 20 games of the regular season, and the final 16, no defensive pair was on the ice together more than Weegar and Ekblad. It quickly became clear who was at the top of the defensive pairing hierarchy on the Panthers bench. MacKenzie Weegar of the Florida Panthers skates with the puck during a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on February 25, 2020. "I don't mind playing afternoon games," Quenneville said with a smile.
Chirping the Cats podcast: Episode 8 - Dec. 22, 2019
SUNRISE, Fla. – With 2019 about to come to a close, Episode 8 of Chirping the Cats features host David Dwork and his guest, Local 10′s Ian Margol, as they go up and down the Florida Panthers roster and assess each player’s season, to this point. SUBSCRIBE TO THE CTC PODCAST - iOS | Android2:20 – Josh Brown5:25 – Keith Yandle9:10 – Aaron Ekblad16:50 – Anton Stralman20:55 – Colton Sceviour22:50 – Jayce Hawryluk25:15 – Brian Boyle30:30 – Brett Connolly34:30 – Jonathan Huberdeau39:55 – Mark Pysyk43:10 – Dominic Toninato45:50 – Aleksander Barkov49:15 – Mike Matheson
Confident, resilient Panthers continue defying odds with miraculous comebacks
SUNRISE, Fla. – There was never any doubt that the Florida Panthers were capable of more than what they'd accomplished in recent years. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)It's clear that the Panthers are a team that is still figuring things out. Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau smiles after scoring in overtime against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. UNCHARTED TERRITORYThere is something quite different about this Panthers team. “We’ve had a few good comebacks over the years, but a team this good, doing it consecutive weeks, it’s unheard of.”
Panthers beat Oilers 6-2
EDMONTON, Alberta - Brian Boyle and Jayce Hawryluk each had a goal and an assist and the Florida Panthers scored three goals in just over two minutes to open the second period in a 6-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Aaron Ekblad, Noel Acciari, Evgenii Dadonov and Frank Vatrano also scored for Florida. The Panthers improved to 5-2-4, earning at least a point in eight straight games. James Neal and Leon Draisaitl scored for the Oilers. The Panthers put nine shots on Oilers goalie Mike Smith as Edmonton sent seven shots on Florida starter Sergei Bobrovsky.
Dynamic Duo: Quenneville may be on to something with Ekblad-Weegar pairing
In the time since, the players have been busy learning a new defensive system, implemented by head coach Joel Quenneville. "I think (in) all zones, we're probably more effective in knowing how we want to check," Quenneville said Wednesday when asked how the process is going. An emerging duo that skated together during the Panthers' recent three-game road trip is Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar. It's been a lot of fun," Weegar said. They make quite an unlikely duo; the first overall pick in 2014 (Ekblad) and the sixth-from-last pick in 2013 (Weegar).