SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Paul Maurice and the Florida Panthers are finalizing a deal to make him the club’s new coach, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The Panthers hope to formalize the hiring later this week, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the status of negotiations has not been publicly announced by either party and no contract has been finalized. sign.
Maurice will replace interim Panthers coach Andrew Brunette, who could stay with the organization if he chooses to do so.
Brunette took over at the start of last season following the resignation of Joel Quenneville, who had to step down after it was revealed how the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled player abuse allegations made during of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Quenneville coached Chicago during this time.
TSN first reported that the Panthers and Maurice were finalizing a deal.
The Panthers would become the fourth franchise that Maurice coaches. He started in Hartford in 1995, two seasons before that franchise moved to Carolina. He coached Toronto for two seasons before returning to Carolina, then spent nearly nine years coaching in Winnipeg before leaving there in December.
“I pushed as long and as hard as I could here. I love these guys. They need a new voice, and I know that,” Maurice said when he left Winnipeg.
Now six months away from that decision, Maurice is also making a fresh start with a team that believes it is a Stanley Cup contender.
Florida won the Presidents’ Trophy this season and reached the second round of the playoffs, winning a playoff series for the first time since 1996. Brunette was a runner-up for Coach of the Year in his first stint. head coach at the NHL level.
It wasn’t enough to get him the long-term job. Instead, the Panthers are looking to Maurice – who is fourth on the NHL’s all-game coaches list with 1,684, seventh on the all-time wins list with 775, but has never led a Stanley Cup team.
Florida, for the past three seasons combined, has ranked second in the NHL in wins (130) and points per game (1.35) — behind only Colorado on those two lists. The Avalanche have 137 wins and an average of 1.41 ranking points per game over that span.
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