banner
Hurricanes

Maurice out again as Canes coach, Muller to take over

Posted November 28, 2011
Updated November 29, 2011

— The Carolina Hurricanes fired head coach Paul Maurice Monday and replaced him with long-time player and first-time NHL head coach Kirk Muller.

At a press conference announcing the hire, general manager Jim Rutherford said that he "wanted to bring somebody in who had different ideas from another organization.”

Canes name Kirk Muller as head coach Canes name Kirk Muller as head coach

The Canes position is Muller's first NHL head coaching job. Muller spent five seasons as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens before taking over as the head coach for the Nashville Predators' AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals on June 27 of this year.

Muller repeadedly stressed the word "accountability" as he was introduced Monday afternoon and said that he is impressed with the team's pace of play as well as youth.

"To me as an ex-player and with my coaching experience so far its really simple," Muller said. "You've got to get guys to believe in a system and believe in being accountable to each other."

Muller played for 19 seasons with multiple teams including the Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, and New Jersey Devils. He was a second overall pick by the Devils in 1984 and went on to make six all-star teams.

As a player, Muller scored 30 or more goals five times and topped 70 points seven times. He also played for Team Canada in the 1984 Olympics and tallied the Stanley Cup winner for the Canadiens in 1993.

“Kirk is a proven leader and motivator, and he has strong communication skills,” said Rutherford. “He was a captain and a Stanley Cup winner as a player, and did excellent work as a coach with the Canadiens and the Admirals. We feel confident that he is the right man to lead our team now and in the future.”

Muller was also an assistant coach for the 2006 Team Canada U-18 team that featured current Hurricanes player Brandon Sutter.

Muller, 45, becomes the 12th head coach for the franchise, and the third to be head coach since the team relocated to North Carolina in 1997.

Jeff Daniels, who has been with the Carolina Hurricanes organization since 1995 and has been the head coach and general manager of the AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers since 2008, was also discussed as a replacement but Rutherford said keeping him in Charlotte was best for the organization and the development of the younger players..

Daniels was an assistant coach for the Hurricanes for four seasons leading up to 2008 and was behind the bench for the team’s 2006 Stanley Cup win.

This past weekend, Muller’s Admirals lost to the Checkers twice by scores of 5-1 and 3-2.

Carolina is last in the Southeast Division with an 8-13-4 record (20 points) and are next to last in goal differential in the Eastern Conference at -23. They have won just three of their last 13 games and dropped three in a row.

The Hurricanes are just 3-7-2 on the road this season. They have also given goaltender Cam Ward very little help. Ward has faced the second most shots in the NHL through Monday with 629 and the team has given up an NHL worst 83 goals.

Captain Eric Staal has also struggled recording just 11 points in 25 games while taking a team-high 89 shots and holding a team worst minus-17 plus-minus rating.

Muller said Monday that he wasn't going to come in and change the identity overnight, but players like Staal will be vital to turning things around.

"Your best players have to be your best players (but) everybody needs to feel part of the team, what they can bring to the table," he said.

Rutherford indicated he is open to making a trade to bolster the lineup and said Monday that he is actively looking for a deal.

"In an ideal world we would like to have one top-six forward and even an extra top-nine forward," Rutherford said. "If we can trade a defenseman for a top-nine forward, we’ll do it… It’s not easy making trades."

Maurice was fired just 25 games into the season and a day after a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators in which they went just 1-for-8 on the power play. He has gone on record in recent weeks saying that he is responsible for the players’ slow starts.

“It comes from the coach; bottom line,” Maurice said when prompted on the struggles of Staal. “It’s not on the captain and the players. It’s on me.”

The Canes’ bright spots lie in the lesser expected. Second-year center Jeff Skinner leads the team with nine goals and 21 points. Winger Jussi Jokinen is second on the team with 15 points. Chad LaRose has skated in all 25 games and is tied with Jokinen with an overachieving 15 points.

Maurice was in his second stint with the Hurricanes organization recording a combined 384-391-145. He was with the Hartford Whalers beginning in the 1995-1996 season and made the move with the team to Raleigh after the 1996-97 year.

He guided the Canes to the playoffs three times between 1998 and 2002 losing in the Stanley Cup Finals in the 2001-02 season. Carolina then struggled the following year only winning 22 games and Maurice was let go 30 games into the 2003-04 season.

Maurice returned to the Hurricanes bench in the 2008-09 season, taking over for Peter Laviolette in early December and guiding the team to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Hurricanes have failed to reach the playoffs each of the last two seasons and are headed for a long offseason again as the standings reflect a quarter of the way through 2011-12.

Maurice coached the Toronto Maple Leafs for two seasons between Hurricanes stints finishing over .500 but failing to reach the playoffs each season.

Earlier this season, Maurice became one of just three active NHL head coaches with over 900 games coached with their respective teams. The two remaining are Lindy Ruff in Buffalo and Barry Trotz in Nashville.

121 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Newest First
View all
  • bombayrunner Nov 28, 2011

    yawn

  • RaleighPirate Nov 28, 2011

    Not at all shocked by this news.

  • QC Nov 28, 2011

    Already have Muller listed as head coach on Wiki...

  • edits Nov 28, 2011

    I am one happy Canes fan right now!

  • fzero Nov 28, 2011

    Maybe this will teach Rutherford a lesson. Won't teach Staal one though. His trade value is in the toilet with that over-size contract he has.

  • davidgnews Nov 28, 2011

    Maybe they should fire the guy that keeps hiring Maurice !

  • fideloco Nov 28, 2011

    What? I did not see that coming.

  • pahnc1 Nov 28, 2011

    Kirk Muller really Canes...Daniels team is 7 points ahead of the Admirals and knows the players on this team..my guess Daniels is to smart to take this job..I will wait for the announcement but where else but Rutherford does WRAL get this info...WRAL can't even properly post the standings..see lack of ties, last year when I asked that they simply said we get our scores from another source...really how stupid and uninterested in your local franchise can you be..

  • mike28 Nov 28, 2011

    Funny as the article says "Canes fire Paul Maurice just 25 games into the season". Canes should have fired him 10 games ago. This team has needed a new direction for a long time. Since the Canes like to recycle players and coaches, I am surprised Lavi isn't listed as the top candidate.. :)

  • Luv2Camp Nov 28, 2011

    They Canes should dump salary as well. The season is lost. Save the $$ and plan for next year.

    Mo is a nice guy, but he is paid ALOT. AT this level, you win or you lose that high paying job. My best to Mo and his family.

More...

 

 

  • CBB: Georgetown at St. John's

    Today at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: UNC at Miami

    Today at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Kentucky

    Today at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Islanders

    Tonight at 5:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Boston College

    Tonight at 6:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Syracuse at Duke

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
WAS 0
Final
BOS 106
CHA 98
12:00pm Today
UCF
ECU
 
12:00pm Today
BC
NCSU
 
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
 
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
 
Final
IND 93
CLE 86
Final
PHI 89
WAS 81
Final
BOS 106
CHA 98
Final
TOR 89
GSW 113
Final
DET 115
NYK 121
Final
ATL 95
ORL 88
Final
HOU 102
BRK 98
Final
MEM 79
LAC 97
Final
NOP 104
MIA 102
Final
CHI 96
MIN 89
Final
DEN 82
UTA 104
Final
SAC 96
SAN 107
Final
LAL 101
MIL 93
Final
POR 115
OKC 112
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
ATL
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MEM
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
BRK
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
MIL
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
 
Final
QUIN 73
SIENA 63
 
Final
CORN 57
HARV 49
 
Final
CAN 72
FAIR 65
 
Final
IONA 79
MAN 75
 
Final
BRO 75
PENN 69
 
Final
YALE 81
PRIN 60
 
Final
MAR 69
PETE 67
 
Final
CLMB 71
DART 84
 
Final
AKR 70
OHIO 58
 
Final
CLST 53
VALPO 56
 
11:00am Today
LIP
KNST
 
11:00am Today
GHND
NAVY
 
12:00pm Today
LAF
ARMY
 
12:00pm Today
AMER
BUCK
 
12:00pm Today
UCF
ECU
 
12:00pm Today
STJ
GEOR
 
12:00pm Today
CLEM
GT
 
12:00pm Today
COL
LEH
 
12:00pm Today
FSU
LOU
 
12:00pm Today
MD
MICH
 
12:00pm Today
UGA
MIZZ
 
12:00pm Today
BC
NCSU
 
12:30pm Today
LAS
RIU
 
1:00pm Today
UNH
MAINE
 
1:00pm Today
IUPUI
NEOM
 
1:00pm Today
WINT
PBY
 
1:00pm Today
VMI
SAMF
 
1:00pm Today
CITA
WCU
 
2:00pm Today
DEP
BUT
 
2:00pm Today
LONG
CAMP
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
CIN
 
2:00pm Today
VCU
DAY
 
2:00pm Today
TOWS
DEL
 
2:00pm Today
WMARY
DREX
 
2:00pm Today
JVU
FLGC
 
2:00pm Today
EVAN
ILLST
 
2:00pm Today
BRAD
INDST
 
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
 
2:00pm Today
WICHS
NIOWA
 
2:00pm Today
UWGB
OU
 
2:00pm Today
LSU
MISS
 
2:00pm Today
OKLA
TCU
 
2:00pm Today
BING
UMBC
 
2:00pm Today
AFA
UTST
 
2:00pm Today
GTDNS
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
XAV
VILL
 
2:00pm Today
MNTER
WAGN
 
2:00pm Today
ILLCH
WRST
 
2:30pm Today
YALE
SARAHLAW
 
3:00pm Today
UAB
MTST
 
3:00pm Today
NDAK
SUTAH
 
3:00pm Today
LIB
UNCA
 
3:05pm Today
CHIST
WLVRN
 
3:30pm Today
UMO
BGU
 
3:30pm Today
SHU
LIU
 
3:30pm Today
APP
LAMON
 
4:00pm Today
VANDY
ALA
 
4:00pm Today
KENT
ARK
 
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
4:00pm Today
MRGST
COPST
 
4:00pm Today
SHU
CREI
 
4:00pm Today
BONA
DUQ
 
4:00pm Today
MERC
ETST
 
4:00pm Today
UMASS
FORD
 
4:00pm Today
RAD
GWEBB
 
4:00pm Today
JMU
HOF
 
4:00pm Today
BU
HC
 
4:00pm Today
KYST
ISU
 
4:00pm Today
DELST
MDES
 
4:00pm Today
LOYC
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
IDAHO
MNTST
 
4:00pm Today
MCNST
NICST
 
4:00pm Today
TTU
OKST
 
4:00pm Today
PORT
SDU
 
4:00pm Today
BRY
Terriers
 
4:00pm Today
RMU
RFLSH
 
4:00pm Today
UVA
VT
 
4:00pm Today
BAY
WVU
 
4:00pm Today
FUR
WOFF
 
4:05pm Today
SILL
DRAK
 
4:30pm Today
FD
CCST
 
4:30pm Today
WMICH
EMICH
 
4:30pm Today
CSOU
HIGH
 
5:00pm Tonight
UNCG
CHAT
 
5:00pm Tonight
SD
SDKST
 
5:00pm Tonight
CARK
SELA
 
5:00pm Tonight
KU
TEX
 
5:05pm Tonight
EWASH
MONT
 
5:15pm Tonight
TROY
UGST
 
5:30pm Tonight
TXST
ARKST
 
5:30pm Tonight
UNT
ODU
 
6:00pm Tonight
CORN
DART
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCAT
FAM
 
6:00pm Tonight
PSU
IOWA
 
6:00pm Tonight
MORE
JVST
 
6:00pm Tonight
PEPP
LMU
 
6:00pm Tonight
SCAR
MSST
 
6:00pm Tonight
BRO
PRIN
 
6:00pm Tonight
NEV
SJST
 
6:00pm Tonight
SCST
SAV
 
6:00pm Tonight
BEL
TENST
 
6:00pm Tonight
UF
TENN
 
6:00pm Tonight
ALAST
TXSOU
 
6:30pm Tonight
SOUTH
ALCOR
 
6:30pm Tonight
JST
MVSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SEMIZ
PEAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
LBSU
CSFU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MARS
FATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
STLU
GMAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
DAVID
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLMB
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
LAM
INCWORD
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UWMIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENNM
MURST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ELON
UNCW
 
7:00pm Tonight
ILL
NW
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
PENN
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALAAM
PVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJOE
RICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
EKENT
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
TXSA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
WILL
 
7:05pm Tonight
UMKC
GRCN
 
7:15pm Tonight
NO
ABCHRIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDST
BSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
CMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
CHAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
ORU
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
FIU
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
8:00pm Tonight
COC
NE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TAMCC
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SCU
GAELS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOUB
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
UTEP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
TULSA
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNLV
WYO
 
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
ARKLR
 
8:15pm Tonight
LALAF
GSOUT
 
8:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
AUB
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKPB
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
ARZ
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
NARZ
 
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
BYU
 
10:00pm Tonight
WEBER
IDST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
NMU
 
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
UCD
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SACST
 
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
CALST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSNO
UCR
 
10:30pm Tonight
USC
WASH
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
UCI
 
Final
NJD 2
BOS 3
Final
NYI 2
CAL 1
Final
CAR 3
WAS 0
Final
TAM 4
CHI 0
Final
DAL 4
COL 5
Final
ANA 4
LOS 2
3:00pm Today
FLA
BUF
 
3:00pm Today
NAS
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
 
5:00pm Tonight
CLB
NJD
 
5:30pm Tonight
BOS
ARI
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
PHI
NYR
 
10:00pm Tonight
COL
MIN
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
OTT
 
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
STL