Originally written on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 11/28/11

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford speaks on the phone during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Raleigh, NC --- The firing of Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice on Monday morning wasnt much of a surprise. A change was bound to happen, it was only a question of when. Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford and Maurice have a close relationship that extends some beyond hockey, so this was going to be handled with respect for Maurice, who has given the franchise much of his professional life. In two stints as the head coach of the Hartford Whalers-turned-Carolina Hurricanes, Maurice led the team for 920 games, going 384-391-145. Much of the franchises culture, which it takes seriously, comes in part from Maurices work. But it was time for a change. The Canes needed new life and a new direction. Carolina needed a new voice in that room, as he often called the locker room. The players respect Maurice, who became the youngest coach to reach 1,000 NHL games last season at 43, but his message wasnt getting through anymore. The team has fallen on hard times, dropping 12 of t...
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