Posts Tagged ‘Paul Maurice’

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.

Paul Maurice has resigned as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, the team announced Friday.

Assistant coach Dave Lowry will take over duties on an interim basis. Winnipeg is 13-10-5 this season.

Maurice told reporters Friday morning it was his decision to step down.

“This is a good team, I’m a good coach … But sometimes you can only push so far,” Maurice said, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. “Sometimes a team needs a new voice. They haven’t quit on me but need a different voice. It’s the right time for it, and I know that.”

“I love these guys. I love this place. I know that it’s time, and that’s a good thing for the Jets. It’s also a really, really good thing for me,” Maurice added, according to NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika.

Maurice signed a three-year extension in 2020 worth $3 million per season, according to CapFriendly.

The 54-year-old took over as Jets head coach in 2014. He’s overseen 600 games for the franchise, accumulating a 315-223-62 record and five postseason appearances.

Maurice ranks sixth in NHL history with 775 victories. He broke into the league with the Hartford Whalers in 1995 and stuck with the franchise when they became the Carolina Hurricanes, until 2003-04. Maurice then spent two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and had a second stint with Carolina before landing with the Jets.

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice is scratching his head at recent criticisms of Blake Wheeler.

Maurice spoke candidly to reporters Wednesday regarding recent jabs at Winnipeg’s captain, who has been on the ice for more five-on-five goals against than any other Jets skater this season.

Wheeler has been out for three Winnipeg goals at five-on-five and 14 against through 10 games, and some reporters called out the 34-year-old for his lackadaisical effort on a goal scored by Matthew Tkachuk in Tuesday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

“The goal that you’re beaking him on (Tuesday) night, he got put in a real tough spot by a horseshit backcheck by somebody else,” Maurice said, according to TSN. “I’m sensitive to it because I’ve been in awe of this guy since I got here.

“His worth (ethic), like he’s unimpeachable, and his character. How he runs that room and how he plays. He’s got f—— 11 points in 10 games.”

Maurice added that while he doesn’t have an issue with criticism, he does expect criticism to be accurate.

“I’d just like you to be right about it,” Maurice said. “You’ll do your deep dives and analytics, and god, they do a horseshit job of telling you what five guys do.”

He continued: “So, I’m not so much protective of Blake Wheeler; I’m more protective of the Winnipeg Jets. You get a guy in your town that plays that hard and is such a fine, fine leader, and a fine man? Let’s be real careful.

“If his plus-minus number isn’t what you want – like he’s prorated out at about 88 points, man. And we’re 10 games in, we’re 6-3-1, and you’re beaking my captain. I’m offended by it.”

Wheeler has notched three goals and eight assists this season while carrying a plus-minus rating of minus-9.

Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ agent, Pat Brisson, hasn’t been a fan of John Tortorella’s recent comments regarding his client.

“From Day 1 of camp, John Tortorella wanted to expose Pierre-Luc Dubois,” Brisson said, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger on Thursday’s edition of “Insider Trading.” “This included going on (the) radio the second week, which made it more difficult for (general manager Jarmo Kekalainen) to do his job. Now, he continues to use different media platforms trying to justify his position.”

Tortorella has repeatedly spoken about Dubois’ trade request in late December. In early January, prior to Dubois’ trade to the Winnipeg Jets, the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach said on the radio that Dubois “hasn’t given a reason why he wants to leave.” In an interview that aired Wednesday, Tortorella acknowledged that he and the 22-year-old had conflict while calling today’s athletes “softer.”

After being dealt to Winnipeg last week, Dubois said he didn’t demand a trade due to his relationship with Tortorella.

Additionally, Brisson pointed to Jets head coach Paul Maurice as an example of how he would’ve liked Tortorella to handle the situation.

“I have not heard Paul Maurice once say anything about a trade request from both (Patrik) Laine and (Jack) Roslovic,” Brisson said. “This could’ve been Operation Submarine, but ah well, Torts wasn’t able to help himself.”

Dubois has yet to make his Jets debut due to his mandatory quarantine upon entering Canada.

tkachuk-scheifele

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice doesn’t believe Mark Scheifele‘s injury Saturday night was the result of an accident.

Scheifele left Winnipeg’s 4-1 loss versus the Calgary Flames minutes into the opening frame after colliding along the boards with Matthew Tkachuk. The Flames forward seemingly hit Scheifele in the back of the leg with his skate, sending the Jets forward to the ice writhing in pain.

“It was intentional. It was a filthy, dirty kick to the back of the leg,” Maurice said, per Sportsnet. “You can’t see it on the program feed, but you take the blue-line feed and you zoom in. He went after the back of his leg. Could have cut his Achilles. Could have ended the man’s career. It’s an absolutely filthy, disgusting hit.”

Tkachuk denied postgame that he intentionally tried to injure Scheifele.

“I feel terrible. Such a great guy,” Tkachuk said, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “It’s not good for the game when someone like that isn’t in the game. It was an accident and I feel terrible about it.”

Patrik Laine also suffered an ailment Saturday, injuring his hand late in the game. Maurice said both Laine and Scheifele will see specialists Sunday, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Screen-Shot-2016-11-04-at-9-21-27-AM-700x467

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice believes eliminating travel during the 2019-20 postseason will result in high-quality action on the ice.

“If you look just at the opportunity to be great, for your team to feel good, to be healthy, and to drive at a very high level – which is playoff hockey on steroids – there’s a chance that this is as good of hockey as I’ve ever seen,” Maurice said of a postseason without travel, according to TSN.

The 24 teams involved in the league’s restart arrived in their respective hub cities Sunday; the Eastern Conference’s participants congregated in Toronto, while the Western Conference contingent gathered in Edmonton. The first slate of exhibition games is scheduled for Tuesday.

Maurice believes playing the majority of the postseason in one location will particularly benefit Western Conference clubs such as the Jets, who typically log more travel miles than Eastern Conference teams throughout the regular season.

“For a team like ours, that travel’s a factor. You get off the plane at 2 or 3 in the morning enough times, it starts to set you back,” Maurice said. “So these guys are going to be really well-rested, really well taken care of, (and) very very focused.”

Winnipeg finished the regular season with a 37-28-6 record and will face the Calgary Flames in a best-of-five play-in series. Game 1 is set for Aug. 1.

NHL: FEB 20 Jets at Senators
Winnipeg Jets newcomer Dylan DeMelo appears to have made a good first impression on head coach Paul Maurice.

The Jets bench boss used a rather suggestive analogy to convey how he felt about DeMelo’s game in the defenseman’s debut with the club following Thursday night’s 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

“His stick so many times knocked things down, his passes were on the tape,” Maurice told reporters, per the team. “That was a pure kinda of, I don’t know if you could call it ‘coach’s porn,’ but when you’re watching hockey video, you know that’s pretty darn good.”

Winnipeg acquired DeMelo from the Senators on Tuesday in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020. The 6-foot blue-liner recorded three blocked shots while logging 18:36 of ice time, including 3:18 on the penalty kill.

“Coaches love those kind of games,” Maurice continued. “It’s not flashy, but his consistency with his stick, his reads, and then his passes … the ones he needed to snap hard he did and the ones he could feather and touch in there he did.”

The Jets will look to DeMelo to help give them a much-needed defensive boost in the midst of a tight Western Conference playoff race. Winnipeg ranks last in the league in both share of expected goals for and high-danger scoring chances at five-on-five.

16D47FF6-1A4B-40ED-8684-BF87BFFB541C
The Winnipeg Jets and head coach Paul Maurice agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The new is deal for three years, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Maurice joined the Jets during the 2014 season and has recorded a 264-186-53 regular-season record with the club. He’s guided Winnipeg to the postseason three times, which included a trip to the Western Conference Final in 2018.

“I love working here,” Maurice said Wednesday after the announcement. “There’s lots of challenges that come with a young team but that keeps you moving and growing as a coach and getting better.

“Priority (No. 1), is you’ve got a family and you want them to enjoy their lives as well, and Winnipeg has given us so much more than we’ve given the city. For my kids, and their friends and family, and my wife as well, this truly is our home now. … Being able to stay and work for the Winnipeg Jets is perfect.”

The 22-year veteran coach has also overseen the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers during his career. He ranks sixth in NHL history in games coached (1587) and seventh in wins (724).

Additionally, Maurice currently has the second-longest tenure of any active NHL head coach (502), trailing only Tampa Bay Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper.

F16799BF-4F13-4C1D-BA1E-5714E98DC8F1
Paul Maurice didn’t agree with the league’s decision to uphold the Minnesota Wild‘s overtime winner Saturday, but the Winnipeg Jets head coach clearly didn’t want to risk being fined for criticizing the officiating.

“It’s goalie interference all day long for me and there’s not a lot of gray area on that one, but I’m not giving them any money. Not one dime,” Maurice told reporters following the 3-2 overtime loss.

Eric Staal potted the decisive marker in the extra frame as teammate Zach Parise appeared to make contact with Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

It was ruled a goal on the ice, then reviewed and upheld, with the NHL later stating that Jets defensemen Anthony Bitetto and Tucker Poolman caused Parise to make contact with Hellebuyck prior to the goal.

“The decision was made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 38.11 (ii), which states, in part, that the goal should be allowed because ‘the attacking player was pushed, shoved, or fouled by the defending player causing the attacking player to come into contact with the goalkeeper,'” the league explained.

Maurice also disagreed with an earlier no-call, namely Wild forward Kevin Fiala‘s hit from behind on Jets blue-liner Josh Morrissey along the boards. However, the Winnipeg bench boss kept his answer even shorter when asked about that incident.

“Yup,” was all he uttered in response to a question about whether the officials should have called a penalty.

When prompted about whether he can turn any anger from this game into something, Maurice again suggested he didn’t want to give the league a reason to fine him.

“We’ll deal with the things that we can get better at and try to improve on those,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got, I mean. anything else is going to get expensive, fellas. (Let’s) call it a day.”

The Jets earned a point Saturday but dropped their seventh game in their last nine.

Maurice’s comments come less than a week after Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was fined $20,000 – as well as a conditional $25,000 for a future offense – for a tirade directed at officials.

BC441A36-5558-478A-9974-5112A38A8E2B
The Winnipeg Jets‘ shorthanded defense corps will now be tested even further.

Head coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday that Dmitry Kulikov will be out “until around the All-Star break” with the injury he suffered during Friday night’s win over the Anaheim Ducks. This year’s All-Star weekend takes place Jan. 24 and 25 in St. Louis.

Kulikov left that game after Ducks forward Carter Rowney hit him hard in the first period. The veteran kept his left arm down at his side while skating off, according to the Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck.

The Jets called it an upper-body ailment at the time, and Kulikov didn’t play in a loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The 29-year-old, who’s not known for his offense, has recorded four points in 25 contests this season. He ranks third among Jets blue-liners in ice time while logging nearly 20 minutes per game.

Winnipeg’s back end has already been thinned out after an injury to Nathan Beaulieu, the offseason departures of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot, and Dustin Byfugilen being away from the team all season amid his uncertain future.