Found November 28, 2011 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
2010-nhl-draft-round-one
Raleigh, NC --- Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford had something specific in mind when he began thinking about a coaching change a month ago. First of all, he wanted a "good fit" for the franchise. Second, he wanted to go outside of the organization and bring in someone that would offer a different perspective and bring a different flavor to the Hurricanes. He certainly had some quality options within the franchise, notably in assistant coach Ron Francis and Jeff Daniels, the team's Charlotte affiliate head coach. But Rutherford rolled the dice a bit, and opted for Kirk Muller, who has all of 16 games of professional head coaching experience. "I did talk to Jeff Daniels, who is prepared to be head coach, one by moving him here obviously disrupts the development part of what we're trying to do in Charlotte," Rutherford said Monday evening at the RBC Center. "At the end of the process, I really wanted to bring somebody in that had some ideas from another organization, and between the teams that Kirk's played for and then working with the Montreal Canadiens he will bring some new and fresh ideas to our team." Muller spent five seasons as an assistant with Montreal before getting the job leading the Nashville Predators' top minor club this past summer. He guided Milwaukee to a 10-6 mark before accepting Carolina's offer. Rutherford said the lackluster effort in a 4-0 loss at Montreal two weeks ago was when he made the decision to replace Paul Maurice. Rutherford spoke to Muller for "approximately 7-10 days" and the 45-year-old Muller was their number one choice. Muller does have head coaching experience, but that was at Queen's University in Ontario. He was an assistant on the 2005 Team Canada squad and the 2006 Under-18 club that included current Hurricane Brandon Sutter. In 19 seasons, Muller played 1,349 games, scored 357 goals, had 602 assists, was a 6-time NHL All-Star, played in 127 Stanley Cup playoff games, and scored the Cup-clinching goal for Montreal in 1993. Muller knows the game from a player's perspective, which can be crucial when tough times arrive. He's been through it, and as a coach he's learned how to communicate what he's experienced. Given Carolina's situation, especially with All-Star Eric Staal, who has just five goals on the season, and only 10 goals in his last 48 games dating back to last season, Muller might be able to push the right button to get Staal going. "I know what he can do," Muller said. "We all know what level he can play at, and not everyone can get to that level. He can and until I get a chance to sit down with him and get a feel for where he's at. "I'm a communicator, I understand where the players are coming from, and I'm hoping I can build a bond with him and see where he's at and get the best hockey out of him. I do believe, it's no secret, your best player has to be your best player." If Muller can spark Staal, the trickle-down process could lead to some exciting times at the RBC Center. Make no mistake, this isn't a team that's suddenly going to start beating the Penguins on a regular basis, but it can certainly make a push for a spot in the playoffs. If Muller coaches like he was prepared for his intro to the Carolina media, he should do pretty well. Muller said a lot of the right things. Noted the uniqueness of the area where he will now work and live. He has a daughter graduating from high school next spring and she's already looking at schools in North Carolina. Muller also said he's spoken to plenty of former players who raved about living in the Raleigh area and how youth hockey is rapidly growing in the area. And he acknowledged the sports that have long histories making up the culture here, too. "It is a car racing and college basketball," he said, smiling. "There's a great market here and a great tradition with some of the schools." But he's a hockey guy, and everyone in the room under Carolina's employee are also hockey people committed to continuing to imbed the franchise into the region's fabric. To most successfully do that the Canes must win, and Muller knows that.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

'Canes choice of Muller signals culture change

When Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford decided that Paul Maurice was no longer going to be the coach of his franchise and he surveyed the landscape for successors, he must have asked himself some fundamental questions. Among the likely candidates, along with the eventual pick in Kirk Muller, had to have been Jeff Daniels, the head coach of Carolinas top minor-league...

Canes fire Maurice, name Muller coach

Kirk Muller played more than a thousand games in the NHL, won a Stanley Cup and was an assistant coach in the league for five years. But Tuesday night, he will experience something new: for the first time, he will go behind the bench as an NHL head coach. Muller, 45, was introduced Monday as the new head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes by general manager Jim Rutherford. Muller replaces...

Hurricanes firing of Maurice hardly a suprise

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...

Muller takes over for Maurice in Raleigh

After weeks of speculation that Coach Paul Maurice’s tenure in Raleigh was drawing to a close, General Manager Jim Rutherford pulled the trigger this morning and fired his friend, the long-time coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. Soon after, the club announced that the former assistant coach for the Montreal Canadiens Kirk Muller was the man brought in to take the reins.The Hurricanes...

Hurricanes Claim Nodl off Waivers

This had to have been one of the easiest decisions for Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford. His team is sitting in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, having won 3 of their last 10 games.  The team has a brand new NHL coach (literally) in Kirk Muller. Their penalty killing ranks 22nd in the NHL. If [...]

Hurricanes Name Kirk Muller as Head Coach

Tweet RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s C...

Maurice Next To Go

Well, look at me.  Getting to break all the real news today.  If I was a guy who forced the infirm to pay me a few bucks for every rumor I made up, I’d say this was another example of those famous “dominoes” falling. Carolina Hurricanes Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has...

Carolina fires Maurice, bring in Muller

The last-place Carolina Hurricanes have brought in former All-Star Kirk Muller to replace Paul Maurice as coach. This is the second time Maurice has been dismissed by the club. Muller takes over a team that has lost 10 of its last 13 games to drop to the bottom of the Southeast Division. This is Muller's first NHL head coaching job. The 45-year-old is in his first season coaching...

Maurice fired, Kirk Muller hired, it’s OK to be jealous of Carolina

The time to fire Paul Maurice had arrived for the Carolina Hurricanes, with 20 points in 25 games and with four players sporting a minus rating in double-digits. So GM Jim Rutherford made an easy call for his team but a difficult call on his friend, dismissing Maurice for the second time, having now gone 384-391-145 as Hurricanes coach. To replace him, Rutherford pulled a hell of...

Hurricanes claim Andreas Nodl

Jim Rutherford has been a busy man the last couple of days as he has now claimed 24-year old winger Andreas Nodl off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. At first, I didn't think much of this move because Nodl appeared to be nothing more than a depth forward and I assumed the 11 goals and 22 points he had last season was a product of playing on a line with Mike Richards. However...

Mike Augello: Expecting the Extension by Xmas

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has usually been the line of demarcation for NHL managers to take an objective glance at their respective clubs and make a decision of whether changes need to be made. The weekend told Washington GM George McPhee and Carolina boss Jim Rutherford that it was time for a change, which resulted in the dismissals of Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice. ...

Kirk Muller hired to replace Paul Maurice

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The last-place Carolina Hurricanes fired coach Paul Maurice for the second time in less than a decade Monday and replaced him with former All-Star Kirk Muller. Muller begins his first NHL head coaching job with a slumping team that has made one playoff appearance since 2006 and has lost 10 of 13 games. He is in his first season coaching the Nashville Predators...

Don’t Blame Paul Maurice for the Canes’ Struggles

By Alexander Monaghan President  (May 23, 2009 - Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America) This morning the Carolina Hurricanes announced the firing of head coach Paul Maurice for the second time. Through 25 games, the long-time Cane was en route to his third straight season without a playoff berth. Something needed to give and GM Jim Rutherford was not willing to blow up...

Hurricanes Reassign Brett Sutter to Charlotte

Tweet RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s C...

Hurricanes Claim Andreas Nodl on Waivers

Tweet RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s C...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.