With Head Coach Paul Maurice signed to a new three-year contract, the Hurricanes’ coaching staff from last season will remain intact. Although their specific duties won’t change much, there are a few title changes.
Ron Francis is now the associate head coach and director of player personnel, the latter part of that title added to reflect his continuing work in the front office and with young players in the team’s system. In addition, Tom Barrasso, formerly known as goaltending coach, has been given the title of assistant coach due to his work with multiple aspects of the team, although he will still work closely with the team’s goaltenders.
“With Ron, it’s really things that he’s been doing over the last couple of years and will continue to do, and I felt that it was important that he has that title so people understand everything he does,” said Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford.
“Tom Barrasso will continue to work with the goalies, but last year he has more input on different things like the penalty kill and our game preparation between periods,” added Rutherford. “I felt it was important that he was recognized for his work.”
Assistant Coaches Kevin McCarthy and Tom Rowe remain on board in their usual role.
For Rutherford, it was important to keep the entire staff together based on the job they did last season in taking a team that struggled in the middle of the season all the way to the conference finals.
While the five-man staff is large by NHL standards, Rutherford thought very highly of how that allowed them to focus on a few specific duties that best suited their individual expertise. From the get-go, their organization was compared to that of a football coaching staff with multiple coordinators each handling their own area.
“When Paul came in, he did a really good job of bringing the coaching staff together,” said Rutherford. “They had good chemistry, and the delegation of certain areas where everybody felt they had an important role in the staff [worked well].
“That chemistry then that flowed over into the team,” he continued. “The players bought into it and bought into the adjustments that were made. I really felt that Paul did an exceptional job at that, which really helped in the overall picture.”
More to follow today as both Rutherford and Maurice will have separate media availabilities this afternoon.