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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Associated Press source: Maurice close to signing with Panthers

SUNRISE, Florida ( Associated Press) — Paul Maurice and the Florida Panthers are in the process of finalizing a deal to make him the club’s new coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Wednesday.

The Panthers hope to officially announce the hiring later this week, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity as neither side has publicly announced the status of the talks and no contract has been signed.

Maurice will replace acting Panthers coach Andrew Brunett, who can stay with the organization if he wants to.

Brunette took over early last season following the resignation of Joel Quenneville, who was forced to resign after it was exposed that the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled allegations of violence made by a player during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. Quenneville was coaching Chicago at the time.

TSN first reported that the Panthers and Maurice were finalizing an agreement.

The Panthers will be the fourth franchise Maurice has coached. He started in Hartford in 1995, two seasons before that franchise moved to the Carolinas. He coached Toronto for two seasons before returning to the Carolinas, then spent almost nine years at Winnipeg before leaving in December.

“I tried here for as long and as hard as I could. I love these guys. They need a new voice and I know it,” Maurice said as he left Winnipeg.

Now, with six months to go before that decision, Maurice is also starting a fresh start with a team that believes it is a Stanley Cup contender.

Florida won the President’s Trophy this season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs, winning the postseason series for the first time since 1996. Brunet was a finalist for Coach of the Year during his first tenure as an NHL head coach.

It wasn’t enough to get him a job in the long run. Instead, the Panthers turn to Maurice, who is fourth on the NHL’s all-time coaching list with 1,684 games, seventh on the all-time list with 775 wins, but never led the team to the Stanley Cup.

Florida has been ranked second in the NHL in terms of wins (130) and points per game (1.35) over the last three seasons combined — second only to Colorado on both lists. The Avalanche had 137 wins and averaged 1.41 points per game during this period.

World Nation News Desk
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