Paul Maurice TONIGHT bug

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Paul Maurice has garnered plenty of wins and a ton of respect as one of the NHL's best coaches. The Stanley Cup is one prize that's eluded him and it's one that he wants. Now.

"Everybody's different, every coach is different, and it seems to me, as you age, you get a different perspective on life and what's important and valuable. I need to win one," the Florida Panthers coach said at Stanley Cup Final Media Day at Amerant Bank Arena on Friday.

"It's not going to change the section of my life that's not related to hockey at all. That's the truth. That's how I feel. I'm 30 years into this thing. I wouldn't mind winning one."

The Panthers wouldn't mind winning one for Maurice, either. They'll try to do that, starting with Game 1 against the Edmonton Oilers here on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS, CBC).

"He's such an amazing coach. He's the best one I've had," Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said. "He's gotten me to become a better player than when I first started here. I've got nothing but good things to say about him.

"I've got a ton of respect for him, and I think all the players, first and foremost, you really want to win it for yourself and your teammate next to you. But I think a guy like Paul, it means a lot to him, from all of us, seeing what he's done for us the past two years. We definitely want to get it for him."

Maurice was named Panthers coach on June 22, 2022. The 57-year-old is 94-56-14 in 164 regular-season games and has guided them to the Cup Final in each of his seasons here. Last year, Florida lost in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Final.

"It's tough to explain how much he's done for the franchise himself," Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg said. "He's an amazing leader, he demands the most out of his players, but he's also willing to do it himself, which makes it all that much better when we do it as well. So, it would definitely be extra special to do it for him, just because of how much he's done for us."

Center Evan Rodrigues, who signed with Florida as a free agent on July 2, said playing for Maurice has been, "a pleasure, a treat."

"(He's) really good at reading the room, really good at knowing what we need, when we need it. I think that's the biggest quality I can take away," Rodrigues said. "He knows when a team needs a joke, and he knows when a team needs a kick in the back end. He's been incredible for us all year and yeah, really enjoy playing for him."

Maurice was 28 years old when he replaced Paul Holmgren as the Hartford Whalers coach on Nov. 6, 1995. At the time, he was the second youngest coach in NHL history behind Gary Green, who was 26 when named coach of the Washington Capitals on Nov. 14, 1979.

Maurice has the most regular-season wins among active NHL coaches (869-736-144 with 99 ties) in 1,848 games during 26 seasons with the Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Panthers, ranking fourth all-time in wins and second in games. He's 20th all-time and fifth among active coaches with 66 playoff victories.

After resigning as coach of the Jets on Dec. 17, 2021, unsure if he would coach again, Maurice is hoping to add one bit of hardware to an illustrious career.

"When it's over, because I thought it was, you get to a peaceful -- I don't want to say peaceful, I used the word peaceful, I'm not sure I ever got to peaceful -- but I understand what it feels like to feel like it's over and didn't win. Didn't win. I know coaches that feel the opposite. Maybe it's a function of I think I carry the losses, and that goes back to starting very, very young.

"So, I'm going to know when this thing is all over, either how good I got or how good I was. I won't need somebody else to tell me that or to value my career. I'm not saying I'm going to value it really high, I'm not telling you where I'd value it. I've got a pretty good idea of the job I've done when it's over. Yeah, I'd really like to win one, man." Editor-In-Chief Bill Price contributed to this report