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Hurricanes fire coach Kirk Muller after missing playoffs for 5th straight year @NHLdotcom

RALEIGH, N.C. - Kirk Muller has been fired as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Muller did not make the playoffs in three years behind the bench.

Assistants John MacLean and Dave Lewis were also let go, while Rod Brind'Amour will remain on staff.

The moves are the first made by new general manager Ron Francis, who last week took over for Jim Rutherford.

"We thank Kirk, John and Dave for their time and effort during the past three seasons," Francis said in a statement. "Kirk and his staff worked very hard, but we feel that the team is in need of a fresh start at this time."

The 48-year-old Muller went 80-80-27 in his first NHL head-coaching job after taking over in November 2011.

Muller's firing leaves five head-coaching vacancies around the league: the Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers.

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