Florida Panthers Hire Veteran NHL Coach

Paul Maurice Hired
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The Florida Panthers have made their choice for their new head coach. Reports indicted that Paul Maurice has been hired to fill the Panthers’ spot behind the bench. News of the hiring happened Wednesday morning. The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports interim coach Andrew Brunette will be offered a significant role to stay with the team. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports it will be a three-year deal.

Paul Maurice Hired by Panthers

Maurice comes in to replace Brunette, who steered the club to the President’s Trophy for the league’s best record. Brunette’s coaching job got him nominated for the Jack Adams Award for the league’s top coach. However, general manager Bill Zito is going in a different direction.

The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native is back behind the bench after resigning from the Winnipeg Jets last season. Maurice has a career record of 775 wins, 681 losses, 130 overtime losses and 99 ties. The 55-year-old has had stints leading the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Jets.

Maurice reached the Stanley Cup Final with Carolina in 2001-02. However, the Hurricanes were beaten by the Detroit Red Wings. The veteran coach has also had stint in the OHL, AHL and KHL. He won an OHL title with the Detroit Junior Red Wings in 1994-95.

What It Means

Man thought Brunette would get a chance to be a full-time NHL coach. However, Maurice’s appointment has ended that chance in Sunrise. Brunette now gets a chance at other top jobs like the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings if he wants them. He came in after Joel Quenneville resigned after the fallout from the Kyle Beach incident.

Maurice comes into a talented team that was the best regular season team in 2021-22. The Panthers finally won a playoff series for the first time in ages. However, the Cats were swept by their in-state rivals the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The veteran coach has a chance to get Florida to the next level, but the Atlantic is tough with Tampa Bay, Toronto and young teams like the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit wanting to take the next step.