Report: Panthers To Hire Former Jets Coach Maurice To Run Bench, Retain Brunette As Assistant

Photo: Mikaela MacKenzie/Winnipeg Free Press 2018.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Florida Panthers will name former Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes bench boss Paul Maurice to be their next head coach despite interim Andrew Brunette leading the team to the Presidents’ Trophy with the NHL’s top record this past regular season. The team announced that the sides have agreed to a three-year contract that will pay the 55-year-old just under $4 million per season. Brunette could remain on the Panthers’ staff as an assistant but that remains unclear.

Maurice is 775-680-130 with 99 ties in 1684 career NHL games behind the bench with the Jets, Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers, and Toronto Maple Leafs, including 315-223-62 in 600 games with Winnipeg.

He stepped down as Jets’ head coach after a 13-10-5 start to the season, citing the team’s need for a new voice and that he needed a break himself.

The Jets averaged 2.96 goals-per-game (15th in the league) and 2.75 goals-against per game (13th) in addition to converting on 19.5% of their power plays (14th) and 68.8% of their penalty kills (31st) with Maurice running the bench this season. They also averaged 32.9 shots-per-game (12th) and 31.4 shots-against per game (tied for 15th) under him.

Maurice led the Jets to the Stanley Cup Playoffs five times, where he went 16-23. The Jets went to the Western Conference Final in 2017-18 when they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in five games. Maurice is 41-51 in 92 career postseason games behind the bench.

Maurice also led the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in five games, and the Eastern Conference Final in 2009, where they were swept by the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned from the position on October 28 after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman regarding his role in the Chicago Blackhawks’ sexual assault scandal in 2010.

The Panthers finished the 2021-22 season with a 58-18-6 record (having a six-point cushion over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference) in addition to averages of 4.11 goals-per-game (first), 2.95 goals-against per game (tied for 12th), a 24.4% power-play percentage (tied for fifth), and a 79.5% penalty-killing rate (16th).

In the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Panthers won their first series since 1996 in six games against the Washington Capitals before getting swept by the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round.

The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets, and Chicago Blackhawks are the only teams currently without a head coach for next season.

The Golden Knights replaced Pete DeBoer with former Bruins and Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Cassidy on a reported contract that will pay him $4.5 million for five seasons. The Philadelphia Flyers hired John Tortorella, who signed a four-year contract that will pay him $4 million per season, on Friday. The Stars brought in DeBoer after Rick Bowness resigned.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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4 Responses to Report: Panthers To Hire Former Jets Coach Maurice To Run Bench, Retain Brunette As Assistant

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    That’s a tough one to swallow for Brunette.

  2. Marky says:

    Wonder if young rebuilding teams like Detroit and Chicago would like Brunette?

  3. Diane Doyle says:

    Not a good move for Florida. Maurice is not exactly an outstanding coach. I consider him somewhat mediocre. Then again, this is the same team who had fired Gerard Gallant in the most classless way possible.

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