RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with head coach Paul Maurice on a multi-year contract. Rutherford also announced that Ron Francis will return as associate head coach and take on the additional title of director of player personnel, while Tom Barrasso will receive the new title of assistant coach. Assistant coaches Kevin McCarthy and Tom Rowe will remain in their roles moving forward and continue on their existing multi-year contracts.
“Keeping the coaching staff intact and better defining each coach’s role was an important offseason task,” said Rutherford. “The team showed tremendous improvement in the second half of last season under the guidance of Paul and Ron. Their delegation of responsibilities to the other coaches created good chemistry in the coaches’ office and helped lead to success on the ice.”
Maurice, 41, returned to the Hurricanes’ bench on Dec. 3, 2008, and guided the team to a 33-19-5 record in the final 57 regular season games of 2008-09, after the team started the season 12-11-2. Maurice led the team to the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, adding to his postseason success that includes Carolina’s 2002 Eastern Conference title. He is the franchise’s all-time winningest coach, having amassed 301 wins in his 731 regular-season games coached and Southeast Division titles in 1999 and 2002.
Francis, 46, remains with the Hurricanes coaching staff as associate head coach, and adds director of player personnel to his title, a change that better defines his role with team management in player signings, trades and acquisitions. The 2007 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Stanley Cup champion joined the Carolina coaching staff on Dec. 3, 2008, after serving two years in team management as director of player development and assistant general manager. The Hurricanes’ power play, a major focus for Francis, went 55-for-258 (21.3%) in the team’s 57 games following the coaching change, improving from 12.9 percent in the team’s first 25 games of 2008-09.
Barrasso, 44, completed his second season as the Hurricanes’ goaltending coach/director of goalie development in 2008-09. While his primary role will remain working with Carolina’s goaltenders, Barrasso’s title will change to assistant coach to better reflect his work in other areas such as the penalty kill and consulting with the other coaches on in-game adjustments.