Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment, presented by Koffee Kult, in which we serve up an exciting look at what's on deck for your Florida Panthers. Like our friends at Koffee Kult, this forecast serves up only the best -- so sit back, sip and enjoy our latest brew of news, notes and information!
We're only a few days into the offseason and the Florida Panthers are already making waves.
With the announcement of Joel Quenneville's hiring as the team's newest head coach earlier this morning, the organization has officially entered a brand-new era under the watchful eye - and legendary mustache - of one of most successful bench bosses the NHL has ever seen.
The league's longest-tenured head coach prior to cutting ties with Chicago back in November, Quenneville currently stands as the the second-winningest coach in NHL history, compiling an astounding 890 wins over parts of 22 seasons split between St. Louis, Colorado and the Blackhawks.
A proven winner, Quenneville led the Blackhawks to Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
"Joel is a three-time Stanley Cup champion head coach who will be a transformative leader for the Florida Panthers franchise," Panthers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Dale Tallon said in a release. "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."
In 2008, Tallon was the one who hired Quenneville in Chicago, thus ushering in one of hockey's most-recent dynasties. And although Tallon, who was hired by Florida in 2010, wasn't a part of the Blackhawks during their Cup runs, he has been credited with building the core of that group.
In fact, if you take a closer look at the 2009-10 section of the Stanley Cup, you'll find Tallon and Quenneville's names etched into the silver, side by side - a feat they'll now attempt to recreate.
"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," Tallon said. "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 will be introduced during a press conference at noon from BB&T Center. If you'd like to tune in to the event, a livestream will be available on the team's Facebook page HERE.
Additionally, following along with @FlaPanthers and @JamesonCoop on Twitter throughout the entire day for updates on the hiring, including reactions from players, notes, videos and articles.
A WHOLE LOTTO LUCK
Who's feeling lucky?
In the first major league-wide event of the offseason, the Panthers are hoping that a handful of numbered ping pong balls will manage to bounce in their favor when the order the first 15 picks in this summer's draft are decided at the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night in Toronto.
For those of you that are new to the inner workings of the lottery, the event will consist of three separate drawings to determine which team will pick first, second and third overall in the first round of the draft, which is slated to be held at June 21-22 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.
After finishing the season with 86 points, Florida enters the lottery with a 2.0 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick. Following the winner of the first pick, the odds for the second and third overall picks will fluctuate depending on how the results of each previous drawing unfold.
Here are the overall odds for each lottery-bound team:
Lottery odds (Fewest Points to Most)
Colorado Avalanche (from OTT) 18.5%
Los Angeles Kings 13.5%
New Jersey Devils 11.5%
Detroit Red Wings 9.5%
Buffalo Sabres 8.5%
New York Rangers 7.5%
Edmonton Oilers 6.5%
Anaheim Ducks 6.0%
Vancouver Canucks 5.0%
Philadelphia Flyers 3.5%
Minnesota Wild 3.0%
Chicago Blackhawks 2.5%
Florida Panthers 2.0%
Arizona Coyotes 1.5%
Montreal Canadiens 1.0%
Once the top-three picks have been decided, the 12 remaining teams will be slotted in order of their 2018-19 regular-season records. If the Panthers fail to move up in the lottery, they will hold the 13th overall pick in the draft. Florida has previously won the lottery in 2002, 2003 and 2014.
The lottery results will be revealed on NBCSN during a one-hour show beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK
With the 2018-19 season in the books, the Panthers would like to show their appreciation.
Video: Thank You Fans
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
In the latest episode of the Territory Talk podcast, the Panthers' all-time leader in goals by a defenseman, Aaron Ekblad, joins the show to discuss what he's learned through his first five seasons in the NHL, his relationship with former team captain Willie Mitchell and much more! Ekblad's interview starts around the 7:30-mark of the episode.
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- Aleksander Barkov made history in the regular-season finale. Find out what you missed by checking out the last "5 Takeaways" until the 2019-20 campaign begins!
-- Five Panthers prospects cracked this year's "Future Watch" list from The Hockey News.
-- Sam Montembeault shined during the final start of his rookie season in net.
-- The Panthers inked goaltender Ryan Bednard to an entry-level contract.
-- In his final blog entry, Vincent Trocheck looks ahead to a must-win season.
-- Jayce Hawryluk, Sam Montembeault and Dryden Hunt were all recently loaned to AHL Springfield.
-- Jakob Raab said he "felt like a star" after spending a day with the Panthers.
-- The Panthers have announced new "Adult Learn to Play" sessions!