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Jets coach Maurice offers plenty of NHL experience

by Shawn P. Roarke

Paul Maurice has the coaching experience to lead the Winnipeg Jets out of their current doldrums.

Maurice, 46, has already coached more than 1,000 NHL games, going 460-457-167 in 11 full seasons and parts of four others.

He began his NHL coaching career with the Hartford Whalers in 1995. At 28, he was the youngest coach in the League, having taken up the profession at the junior-hockey level after an eye injury ended his playing career in 1985.

The Whalers moved to Raleigh, N.C., for the 1997-98 season and Maurice went with the club, remaining the coach of the renamed Carolina Hurricanes until 2003.

After a hiatus of close to three years, Maurice was tabbed to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. He lasted two full seasons in that role, going 76-66-22 from 2006 to 2008. He failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in either season, however, and was dismissed at the end of the 2007-08 season.

The Hurricanes re-hired Maurice midway through the 2008-09 season and he led the team to the Eastern Conference Final. Maurice lasted a little more than two additional seasons before being dismissed 25 games into 2011-12.

The following season, Maurice was hired by Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. He lasted one season in Russia, going 27-13-12 and qualifying for the playoffs. Magnitogorsk, however, lost in seven games in the first round. According to reports, Maurice turned down a two-year extension to remain with Magnitogorsk to return to North America to be closer to his family.

Before being named the second coach in the history of the reincarnated Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 12, 2014, Maurice was serving as an analyst on TSN and the NHL Network.

Here is a look at some of the defining moments of Paul Maurice's career in hockey:

June 15, 1985: Selected in Round 12 of the 1985 NHL Draft (No. 252) by the Philadelphia Flyers.

May 21, 1995: Coached the Detroit Jr. Wings of the Ontario Hockey League to the Memorial Cup Final, dropping an 8-2 decision to Kamloops in the championship game.

Nov. 6, 1995: Named coach of the Hartford Whalers, replacing Paul Holmgren.

April 14, 1996: Leads the Whalers to best record since 1989-90 (34-39-9), but team fails to make Stanley Cup Playoffs.

April 13, 1997: Coaches the Hartford Whalers in final game in Hartford, a 2-1 victory against Tampa Bay.

New Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice has over 1,000 games of NHL coaching experience. (Photo: Gregg Forweck/NHLI)

May 6, 1997: Relocates with franchise as move to become Carolina Hurricanes is formally announced.

Oct. 10, 1997: Hurricanes win first game, a 2-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils.

April 9, 1999: Leads the Hurricanes to a Southeast Division title, the franchise's first division crown since 1987.

April 8, 2000: Becomes the franchise's all-time winningest coach with a 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Thrashers.

April 27, 2002: Hurricanes win first seven-game playoff series in franchise history, defeating New Jersey Devils four games to two.

May 13, 2002: Leads team to Eastern Conference Semifinals win against Montreal, first time the club has ever beaten Canadiens in the playoffs.

May 28, 2002: Hurricanes defeat Toronto Maple Leafs in Eastern Conference Final, marking team's first trip to Stanley Cup Final.

June 13, 2002: Carolina loses Stanley Cup Final to Detroit, four games to one.

Dec. 15, 2003: Fired by Carolina Hurricanes, replaced by Peter Laviolette.

June 24, 2005: Hired to coach the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

May 12, 2006: Hired as Toronto Maple Leafs coach, replacing Pat Quinn.

March 6, 2007: Earns his 300th win in the NHL.

April 2007: Wins 40 games with the Maple Leafs, the highest single-season total of his career.

May 7, 2008: Fired by Maple Leafs after going 76-66-22 and missing playoffs in both seasons.

Dec. 3, 2008: Re-hired by Carolina Hurricanes, replacing Peter Laviolette.

Feb. 11, 2010: Wins his 400th NHL game against Buffalo.

March 16, 2010: Coaches 800th game with Carolina/Hartford franchise, just eighth coach to reach that mark with one franchise in NHL history.

Nov. 28, 2010: Becomes youngest coach in NHL history to coach 1,000 games, just 19th in NHL history to reach 1,000-game plateau.

Nov. 28, 2011: Fired by Hurricanes, replaced by Kirk Muller.

June 8, 2012: Hired to coached Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL; returns to North America after one season.

Jan. 12, 2014: Hired as coach of Winnipeg Jets, replacing Claude Noel.

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