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Jacques out as Coach

JmSpoke to Alan Cohen after Thursday night's season ticket holder meeting and he confirmed to me that A) the Panthers are going to split their coaching and general manager duties, and B) Jacques Martin will not return as coach.

You can get all the details I could put together on deadline here New Coach in 2008-09 and get David J. Neal's take (he covered the team from Day 1 in 1993 until handing things over to me in 2004) right here David J. Likes IndyCars...

My take on things are this: Mr. Cohen told me the split was fairly amicable, both he and JM sitting down and deciding one man shouldn't do both jobs. I'm not so sure it went down like that, JM being a coach first and foremost. I wouldn't be surprised if JM was out looking for a coaching job right now.

But, I hope he stays. He still has the keys to the organization, and being the head of a professional hockey team ain't too bad a gig. Sure JM's assistants -- Guy, Pierre and Mike, find a better group of guys, I dare you -- hope he sticks around too.

The Panthers aren't far off. Problem is, people are tired of hearing that. There is plenty of work still to be done, and JM has his fingerprints all over what's here. There are a lot of people who would stand in line to interview for the GM job if JM turns it down, and for good reason. The franchise is headed in the right direction (although that light at the end of the tunnel hasn't changed much, being that the view comes from the Panthers being on a treadmill) and someone is going to soak in the glory when the Panthers finally break through.

Might as well be Jacques drinking it all in with a front row seat.

-- That said, who do you think the Panthers should go after. I threw out some names because that's what you have to do in situations like this, and the thought is the Panthers do a thorough search.

So, here are your options. Who do you WANT as the next coach of the Panthers, and who do you think the Panthers WILL hire? Comments can be left below.

And thanks for visiting as always...

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dale hunter..he's got fire works well with young players and is a proven winner throughout his career

We need a firebrand type of coach...We need a Tortarella, a Hartley, a Schoenfeld.........

We do not need one of JMs nice guy assistants promoted!!!!!!

Mike Keenan!!!

He should have let him go completely and started fresh. Martin will hire a clone of himself, probably a good friend in the league and it will be the same, soft, boring hockey style.

Bring back Skrudland and let him coach. The team and the fans could use his energy, experience and class.

I'd like to see the Panthers go outside the organization in order to infuse some fresh energy (or ANY energy, for that matter). A top-flight motivator is clearly what this team needs in order to get to the next level and reach its potential. But it's got to be a guy who can connect with the players, not a Keenan or Hartley type of motivator. It would be cool to bring back some of the franchise's heritage in a coaching capacity (Skrudland has NHL assistant coaching experience, and Mellenby clearly has strong leadership credibility)... Niewendyk is another intriguing possibility. Oh, and by the way, is Mark Messier still hunting for an NHL management gig??

Anyone with an attack first philosophy.

Word is Nieuwy is leaving the Org. Whats up with that?

not sure what "name" i would bring in - but we need someone like bruce boudreau. and i don't just say that because of what he did with washington. as soon as i heard him interviewed on comcast (caps telecast) i knew he was going to turn the team around.

this team is fragile. extremely fragile. as were the caps. boudreau is as much a psychologist as he is a coach and his philosophy suits that team perfectly. the panthers dont have nearly as much skill as washington does up front, but they do have the speed and the "pressure, pressure, pressure" system would be golden. it doesn't have to be as offensive oriented as washington or carolina are. more like an aggressive-defensive system (like detroit, or dallas, play). it suffocates you with speed.

anyway, i've heard good things on randy cunneyworth. but i really wouldnt know what hes like without hearing his philosophies. hopefully JM makes the right choice.

also, GR, bob mckenzie is reporting Nieuwendyk has resigned because he was "extremely dissilusioned by the direction of the organization".

has anything happened behind the scenes that we don't know about?

Doug MacLean!

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