The Panthers are talking to five to seven coaching candidates, including former Rangers coach Tom Renney, according to a source close to the team.

Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon is back from Belarus where he watched and scouted the IIHF World Championship won by Russia last week. The coaching search will intensify in the coming weeks with a coach expected in place before the NHL Entry Draft on June 27 in Philadelphia where the Panthers have the No. 1 pick.

Renney certainly has the experience that Tallon has made clear is a priority, especially after his last three coaches, including Horachek, Kevin Dineen and Pete DeBoer, were all first-timers. Renney, 59, has coached parts of nine seasons in the NHL with stops in Vancouver, New York and Edmonton where he compiled a 260-255-9 record with 68 overtime losses.