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Hurricanes

Muller out after 3 years as Canes coach

Posted May 5

— 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." 

53 Comments

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  • Super Hans May 5, 11:07 a.m.

    Who?

  • Ohprah May 5, 11:15 a.m.

    A highly paid problem or two are still on the roster.

  • hansman May 5, 11:17 a.m.

    Who?

    — Posted by Super Hans

    Ward and E.Stall

  • oldandgrumpy May 5, 11:18 a.m.

    Good decision. Three years...no playoffs. Time for a change.

  • jscott13 May 5, 11:19 a.m.

    This is really unfortunate. Muller should have been given the chance to lead this team on his own, not always having to bow to the wishes of upper level management especially as regards who to start in goal. I do trust Ron Francis, though, and I hope that this decision pays off.

  • d3ling424 May 5, 11:23 a.m.

    Boo. Bound, gagged and told to sink or swim.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh May 5, 11:27 a.m.

    This is really unfortunate. Muller should have been given the chance to lead this team on his... View More

    — Posted by jscott13

    I get what you're saying. Muller is a good guy, but he was put in a very difficult situation between trying to please management and certain players like Staal. For some reason some older players didn't "buy into" his system, and without their support the Canes would never succeed.

  • PanthersFan45 May 5, 11:30 a.m.

    Muller did a pretty good job with what he had. I think Ron Francis is going to give this team a fresh "reboot" from the coaching on down to some of the players. I blame JR for some of Mullers misfortune. JR continuously recycled players and he even recycled Paul Maurice. I think one person who will be unloaded in the next season or 2 will be Cam Ward. His contract makes him hard to trade though. I anticipate more moves from Francis (yet to come).

  • washington_irving May 5, 11:34 a.m.

    Looks like the door is open for Tortoralla to be the next coach. If the Canes can't get rid of Staal/Ward, maybe the Torch approach is in order. Sad to see Muller leave, he seemed like a good guy but the coaching staff is the easiest to restructure and a no brainer for Ron in his new job.

  • evadbbat May 5, 11:35 a.m.

    He was above .500 this year. :)

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