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Paul Maurice is the new coach of the Florida Panthers and he agreed to a deal Wednesday to take over a club coming off a season that had the best record in the NHL and rewrote the franchise record book.

Maurice, 55, will be introduced Thursday morning, the Panthers said.

Maurice will replace Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette, who could remain with the organization if he decides to do so.

Brunette took over at the beginning of last season following the resignation of Joel Quenneville, who had to step down following revelations that the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled allegations of abuse filed by a player during the Stanley Cup playoffs. 2010. Quenneville coached Chicago at the time.

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Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a statement issued through the team that Maurice’s hiring came after “an in-depth examination of all aspects of our team.”

“After taking the appropriate amount of time for analysis, we determined that we needed the right mix to continue to grow our players and stay on track toward our franchise goals,” Zito said. “Paul’s experience and intellect were just what we were looking for and we are delighted that he is taking on the role of head coach.”

READ MORE: Former Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice nearing deal with Panthers: Sources

The Panthers will become the fourth franchise Maurice has coached. He started in Hartford in 1995, two seasons before the franchise moved to Carolina. He coached Toronto for two seasons before returning to Carolina, then spent nearly nine years as a coach in Winnipeg before resigning in December.

“I’ve pushed as long and as hard as I can here. I love these guys. They need a new voice, and I know it,” Maurice said as he left Winnipeg.

Now, six months after that decision, Maurice is also starting over with a team he believes is a Stanley Cup contender.

Florida won the Presidents Trophy this season and reached the second round of the playoffs, winning a postseason series for the first time since 1996. Brunette was a coach of the year finalist in his first stint as head coach at the NHL level. , finishing as runner-up to Calgary’s Darryl Sutter for the Jack Adams Award.

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However, that wasn’t enough to land him the long-term job, nor was there support from Panthers players, including captain Aleksander Barkov, among others. Instead, the Panthers are turning to Maurice, who ranks fourth on the NHL’s all-time coaching list with 1,684, seventh on the all-time wins list with 775, but has never led a team to the Stanley Cup. He led Carolina to the title series in 2002, but the Hurricanes lost in five games to the Detroit Red Wings.

READ MORE: Paul Maurice resigns as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets

Florida, for the past three seasons combined, ranks second in the NHL in wins (130) and ranking points per game (1.35), trailing only Colorado on both lists. The Avalanche have 137 wins and are averaging 1.41 ranking points per game in that span.

The Panthers also set team records this season in numerous categories, including wins (58) and goals (340). Jonathan Huberdeau became the first Panthers player with a 100-point season, the team went 34-7-0 at home, started the year with eight straight wins and added a 13-game winning streak later in the season. season.

Florida ended up being swept by Tampa Bay in the second round, and a month later, Maurice has now come on board to see where he can take the Panthers next season and beyond.

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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Reference-globalnews.ca

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