Very big news today, as Paul Maurice has been brought back in to replace Peter Laviolette as head coach, while Ron Francis will join the coaching staff as associate head coach.
The rest of the coaching staff, Kevin McCarthy and Tom Rowe, will remain in place.
General Manager Jim Rutherford said Monday that, while disappointed in the team’s performance so far this season, he was going to be careful not to act out of emotion. I think that’s why you saw the announcement made today rather than on Monday, which many had expected.
Citing reasons for the change, Rutherford mentioned the team’s confidence and chemistry. Hopefully Maurice will provide a shake-up the team could use prior to a tough month of December, when only three of their 13 games will be against teams currently under .500.
Maurice said he wouldn’t overhaul the system currently used by the team, instead providing more subtle tweaks.
“We are not going to try and change the identity of the team in terms of how it plays, because it’s built a certain way,” said Maurice. “It’s built with speed and it’s built to be aggressive. We are going to try and make some adjustments that we hope none of you will notice except for in our end of the ice and some areas like that.”
“The speed and the things that you enjoy about watching the Carolina Hurricanes play and that I worried about when coaching against them when we played against each other, I’d like to see as much of that as possible going forward.”
Crazy day, obviously, and it’s already time to head down to Maurice’s first practice of the year. Much more from that later, and we should also have video of the press conference available later to those who missed the live show.