RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today the team has relieved Peter Laviolette of his coaching duties and that Paul Maurice will assume the role of head coach. Rutherford also announced that Ron Francis has been named the team’s associate coach, and that the remainder of the team’s coaching staff will remain in place.
“This is a real strong addition with Paul and Ronnie leading our coaching staff,” said Rutherford. “As we go into a very tough group of games in December, my hope is that the coaches make minor adjustments to the system and the players regain their confidence.
“We would like to thank Peter for his years of service to the Hurricanes organization, and we wish him and his family the best moving forward.”
Maurice, 41, returns to Carolina as the winningest coach in franchise history, having scored 268 wins in his 674 regular-season games coached during his eight-plus seasons with the team, from Nov. 6, 1995, until Dec. 15, 2003. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native has amassed a coaching record of 344-357-137 record in 11 NHL seasons with the Carolina franchise and the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he coached in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Maurice guided the Hurricanes to the 2002 Eastern Conference title and two Southeast Division crowns during his first stint as the team’s head coach.
This marks Francis’ first coaching assignment since his retirement as a player in 2005. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2007 as the NHL’s second all-time assists leader (1,249), third all-time games-played leader (1,731) and fourth all-time scoring leader (1,798 points). He played 16 of his 23 NHL seasons with the Carolina franchise and is the team’s all-time leader in nearly every statistical category. Francis, 45, has served as the Hurricanes’ director of player development since November 2006, and was named the assistant general manager on Oct. 4, 2007. Jason Karmanos will reassume the role of vice president and assistant general manager which he held from 1998-2007, before rejoining the team this year as executive director of hockey operations.
The Hurricanes continue a four-game home stand on Thursday night at the RBC Center when they host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m., FS Carolinas HD, Hurricanes Radio Network). For information on Hurricanes ticket packages, visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com
or call 1-866-NHL-CANES. Single-game Hurricanes tickets for all November and December games are available at the Time Warner Cable Box Office at the RBCCenter, CarolinaHurricanes.com, by calling 919-834-4000 and all Ticketmaster outlets.