Florida Panthers ex-head coach and current New Jersey Devils assistant Andrew Brunette was arrested in South Florida for driving under the influence Panthers writer David Dwork reported on Wednesday.
Brunette was taken into custody on multiple charges including DUI and disobey of a stop of yield sign in Broward Country on Wednesday morning, per Dwork. The 49-year-old Canadian was taken to the Broward Main Jail.
Brunette led the Florida Panthers to the President’s Trophy as the National Hockey League’s best team after taking over for Joel Quenneville early last season; it was the most successful season in franchise history.
He helped the team win its first playoff series since 1997 when they defeated Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in six games.
Brunette wasn’t retained by the Panthers, who instead chose to hire Paul Maurice as the team’s next head coach. The 2022-23 Panthers have struggled under Maurice, compiling a 24-22-6 record heading into the All-Star break, which has the team outside of a playoff spot in the NHL’s competitive Eastern Conference.
Andrew Brunette is an associate coach for the New Jersey Devils at the time of his arrest, who have had a tremendous year and sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division at 32-13-4.
Brunette is a former NHL player himself; he played over 1,100 career games with the Capitals, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks between 1996 and 2012.
He also served as the assistant coach of the Wild in 2014-15 and was promoted to assistant general manager with the franchise until the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.
Brunette was offered a significant position within the Panthers organization, but chose instead to leave for an assistant coaching position in New Jersey, the current role at the time of his arrest.