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 a card from the deck: Hiring Milwaukee Admirals Coach Kirk Muller (above left, with fracking Cylon at NHL Awards).
The only reasons Kirk Muller isn't already a head coach in the National Hockey League are (a) because he isn't the strongest interviewer, according to sources, and (b) because teams with openings last summer wanted someone with head coaching experience.
Apparently, two months in the AHL were all it took for Muller to find his sea legs. He arrives in Raleigh as, arguably, the best (former) NHL assistant coach that's yet to get his shot in the big chair.
Rutherford could have played ...