Panthers hire Maurice as head coach

Posted: 22/06/2022 in NHL
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Florida Panthers hired former Winnipeg Jets bench boss Paul Maurice to replace Andrew Brunette as their new head coach.

Maurice is joining the Cats on a three-year deal, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

The 55-year-old chose to step down as the Jets’ head coach in December, telling reporters the players needed a different voice. Winnipeg went 13-10-5 under his tenure to start the campaign.

Brunette served as Florida’s interim head coach from October after Joel Quenneville stepped down. The talented Panthers squad performed superbly under his direction, and Brunette helped the team capture the Presidents’ Trophy.

The Panthers set multiple benchmarks in 2021-22, including a franchise-high 58 wins, and they broke the salary-cap era record for most goals scored in a single season.

Florida didn’t perform as well in the playoffs, however, resulting in a second-round sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Panthers will offer Brunette a “significant role” to remain within the organization if he wants it, sources told Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.

Brunette had been an assistant coach with the club since 2019 before being promoted in 2021-22. The Panthers went 51-18-6 after he took over on an interim basis.

An NHL coaching veteran of 24 years, Maurice has been behind the bench for the fourth-most games in NHL history (1,684) and ranks seventh all-time in wins (775).

Maurice kicked off his head coaching career with the Hartford Whalers in 1995 and stayed with the franchise – as they became the Carolina Hurricanes – until 2003-04. He then spent two campaigns with the Toronto Maple Leafs and had a second stint with Carolina before joining Winnipeg.

The Jets went 315-224-62 under Maurice’s leadership and made the postseason five times, including one conference finals appearance in 2018.

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