McFarland joins NHL ranks as Florida Panthers Assistant Coach

Axemen Alumnus & Former Captain hired in Florida

Acadia alumnus Paul McFarland, who suited up for the Axemen from 2006-2010, has been named assistant coach with the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

Axemen coach Darren Burns reflected on the Panthers hiring and his time coaching McFarland saying, “We are absolutely ecstatic about his new position with the Florida Panthers. It couldn’t have happened to a better person. We all knew at Acadia that Paul was destined to coach in the NHL, but to see it happen at such a young age shows what he has already accomplished in his short coaching career. He is arguably the best leader I have encountered in sports.

In spending 1 hour with him as a 20 year old when he played for the Windsor Spitfires, I knew he was a guy we needed to lead our program. His work ethic, passion, and integrity, make everyone around him better everyday. “

Paul was the captain of Acadia for three years and shared his thoughts on his time at Acadia back in 2010 in this clip:

After an impressive 3 years as head coach of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, McFarland joins the Panthers coaching staff with head coach Bob Boughner.

Congratulations to Paul on behalf of Acadia hockey!

Below is the media release from the Florida Panthers website.

SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that Paul McFarland has been named assistant coach to head coach Bob Boughner.

“We are thrilled to add Paul to our coaching staff,” said Boughner. “In three seasons as a head coach in Kingston, Paul’s team has not missed the playoffs. He is young, intelligent and can relate to our team’s young core.”

“I’m thrilled about joining the Panthers organization and having an opportunity to work with Dale, Bob and the tremendous staff that Bob has assembled,” said McFarland. “I look forward to working with the Panthers and helping a talented, young team compete toward their goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

McFarland, 31, has spent the previous three seasons as head coach of the Kingston Frontenacs (2014-17) of the Ontario Hockey League, earning a 111-71-22 record. In all three seasons as head coach of Kingston, McFarland’s club advanced to the postseason, reaching the second round twice.

Prior to joining Kingston, the native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, served as assistant coach of the Oshawa Generals (2012-14).

As a player, McFarland played four seasons in the OHL for the Windsor Spitfires (2005-06) and Kitchener Rangers (2002-04), recording 113 points (50-63-113) over 246 games. He won an OHL Championship and Memorial Cup Championship with Kitchener in in 2003. In his final season with Windsor, he served as captain.

Following his OHL career, McFarland played four seasons for Acadia University where he was named an Academic All-Canadian three times and served as captain for three seasons (2007-10). During his time at Acadia University, McFarland was named University Male Citizen of the Year in 2008 and 2009. The Paul McFarland Award was established in his honor which recognizes the combination of athletics, academics and community involvement.