Muller out after 3 years as Canes coach

Posted May 5, 2014

— After three seasons and a .500 record as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, Kirk Muller and two of his assistants were dismissed from the team Monday.

Muller is 80-80-27 in three years with the Hurricanes, his first stint as an NHL head coach.

The Canes went 36-35-11 in 2013-14 season, earning 83 points while finishing 13th in the East. The team never made the postseason under Muller's leadership and has missed the playoffs five years straight and seven of eight seasons since their 2006 Stanley Cup Championship.

Assistant coaches John MacLean and Dave Lewis were also ousted and Greg Stefan was reassigned from goaltending coach to the pro scouting department. Francis kept Rod Brind’Amour, part of the 2006 Cup team, as a member of the coaching staff.

“We thank Kirk, John and Dave for their time and effort during the past three seasons,” said General Manager Ron Francis. “Kirk and his staff worked very hard, but we feel that the team is in need of a fresh start at this time.”

Francis, who stepped into the GM role just a week ago, had been expected to make a coaching change. Asked about the situation, he said, "There are no easy decisions. You analyze things the best you can and make the decisions that you think are best for the organization. Hopefully, if you are right, you can be successful." 

In an interview after the season ended, team owner Peter Karmanos said "I like our coaching staff" and "I think they've made a lot of progress." 


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  • kheffn May 10, 9:42 p.m.

    KHEFFN: How many times do you have to post you're "done with this team?" Enough already.

    JScott:... View More

    — Posted by fuzzter1

    Fuzzter1 When I said that if they hire Tortorella "I'm done with this team", that's the first time that I said that because nothing else would make me say that. If you have evidence to the contrary, please provide. How often are you going to post things that show you don't have a clue?

  • kheffn May 10, 9:33 p.m.

    Sorry to see Coach Kirk go....I agree I thought he was a good guy...would love to have seen the... View More

    — Posted by batchelor284

    I think they should try and trade Ward now and get another scorer.

    — Posted by Plenty Coups

    And exactly which team do you think would trade a good scorer for Cam?

  • areyououtofyourmind May 6, 10:26 a.m.

    Coach is victim of ownership penny pinching, GM incompetence (with a few exceptions draft picks... View More

    — Posted by a sports fan

    Penny pinching? Are you kidding me? E Staal and Semin make more than EVERY player on the Blackhawks (Ward makes the same.) Would you like Kane, Keith, Crawford, Toews, Hossa, or Sharp to be Canes for less money?

    There have been some terrible contract decisions. Not spending money isn't the issue, spending it wisely is the issue.

  • KT the next generation May 6, 9:48 a.m.

    I liked Kirk, thought he was a good guy. I think this team doesn't need a good guy, or a... View More

    — Posted by thomasew52

    Maybe they can lure Mike Keenan away from the KHL. He just won a title over there. Guy doesn't put up with anything from his players, but he isn't quite the headcase that Torts is.

  • StunGunn May 6, 6:36 a.m.

    I'd like to see Daniels move up.

    — Posted by geoherb1

    Now that's a good idea!!!! I think he's earned it.

    — Posted by 6Pack

    I had thought they might have promoted Daniels when Lavi was fired, but JR said they wanted to go outside the Canes Organization, and as much as Daniels did a great job with the Checkers, it made sense at the time. I agree that Daniels has earned a shot at being the Head Coach for the Canes, but I think Francis will want to go outside the Organization for a "fresh start".

  • fuzzter1 May 6, 2:55 a.m.

    KHEFFN: How many times do you have to post you're "done with this team?" Enough already.

    JScott: I agree. Teams in all sports have coaches for a reason, leadership and direction. Players like EStaal think they know everything and pout like * - when things don't go their way. Him getting Lavy fired was incredibly narcissistic.

    Right now, we need to cut salary and/or losses and rebuild. Sentiment has no place in pro sports. It's a business, not a family. Frankly, I was surprised how many people attended games this year considering how bad the product they were purchasing.

    If Old Man Karmo thinks we, as fans, aren't being "patient enough" with this team, I hope Ronnie infuses a bit of urgency and action to bringing this team back into contention. I hope Ronnie wields a cold and swift sword to this team.

    Staal(s), Semin, Ward - gone. They play to support their lifestyles, not to winning. Training camp should start with the "C" and both "As' off sweaters. Earn it.

  • kheffn May 5, 9:58 p.m.

    Muller is a good guy, but he had to go. The team never bought into his system. Honestly, I... View More

    — Posted by mike28

    I'm surprised. You say they shouldn't have hired Muller because he had no head coaching experience but you're comfortable with Francis as GM with no GM experience. I haven't seen him bring in any young players recently and that was his job. I think they need a coach (but not the disaster known as Tortorella) and a GM with experience. This team doesn't need tweaking by a coach and GM learning on the job. It needs a coach and GM that can make a step change. I really admire Francis and I hope I'm wrong about him, but, unfortunately, I'm rarely wrong.

  • kheffn May 5, 9:47 p.m.


    — Posted by Super Hans

    Troll somewhere else

  • kheffn May 5, 9:46 p.m.

    Looks like the door is open for Tortoralla to be the next coach. If the Canes can't get rid of... View More

    — Posted by washington_irving

    I love Ron Francis, but the Canes don't need someone with no GM experience to do OJT. I can't imagine that any team in the league would be stupid enough to hire Tortorella. If the Canes do it would surpass all other stupid moves the franchise has made as THE MOST stupid. If he's the coach, I'm done with the team. That's about the only thing that would make me say that.

  • ericevenson May 5, 9:36 p.m.

    What is 'Lavy' doing these days - after all he did coach the team that WON the Cup here in 2006?... View More

    — Posted by wlcat609

    Tracy does a good job. I look forward to listening to the Forslund/Tracy team. They have become a staple for many Caniacs. Turn your focus elsewhere, where it might be helpful.




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