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Kirk Muller Fired as Carolina Hurricanes Coach

May 5 2014, 6:16pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Kirk Muller Fired as Carolina Hurricanes Coach
Photo credit: Getty Images
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The Carolina Hurricanes fired head coach Kirk Muller and his assistants Dave Lewis and John MacLean on May 5.

The Carolina Hurricanes fired head coach Kirk Muller and his assistants Dave Lewis and John MacLean on May 5. 

According to Michael Smith of the team's official website, new Carolina general manager Ron Francis felt the team "needed a fresh start":

"The Carolina Hurricanes will have new faces behind the bench beginning in the 2014-15 season.

"Head coach Kirk Muller and assistant coaches Dave Lewis and John MacLean were relieved of their duties on Monday, a week after Ron Francis assumed his new role of executive vice president and general manager.

"'I just felt at this point going forward we needed a fresh start,' Francis said.

"Additionally, Greg Stefan, who served as the team's goaltending coach, was reassigned to the pro scouting department. Assistant coach Rod Brind'Amour has been retained. Muller, a first-time NHL head coach, guided the Canes to an 80-80-27 record over three seasons.

"The team will now begin the hunt for who will serve as the franchise's 13th head coach and fourth in that position since 1997.

"'It would be an open search at this point,' Francis said. 'We'll start with a few names on the list.

"'I've already had some calls and emails today from people wanting to throw their name in the hat, so I think (position is) very attractive.

"Stopping short of listing potential candidates, Francis outlined the vision he had for who will become the new bench boss. Ideally, he said, the Canes will have someone in place by the 2014 NHL Draft, slated for June 27 and 28 in Philadelphia." 

Francis discussed with Smith his ideal coaching candidate, Brind'Amour's future with the team and any potential lineup shakeups moving forward.

"The biggest thing I'm looking for is a guy that's a teacher. You have to be accountable as a player, and having someone in that position that holds them accountable wouldn't be a bad thing. 

"Roddy didn't really have, in my estimation, a prominent role on this staff. I felt Roddy had a lot more to offer, which is why I kept him on board.

"At the end of the day, this, in no way shape or form, takes players off the hook. They still have to be accountable for their actions and how they play. I think there has to be a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, as well, to turn this thing around. 

"I think there are good pieces in the locker room. Talent-wise, I think we're capable of competing. 

"Just because we change coaches doesn't mean that everything is status quo in the locker room. We do need to evaluate that. 

"We are looking at everything. We do have more meetings starting tomorrow morning going forward to look at all different facets of the orgnization from how we draft to what type of players we draft to our make-up and how we develop and so on." 

Francis also gave Muller and his staff due credit and even lauded their character, per The Raleigh News Observer's Chip Alexander. 

"In fairnes to Kirk and his staff it wasn't your typical first three years as head coach. He's a really good person and the whole staff are really good people. We had a good conversation today...and I told him this is the direction I felt we had to go in." 

The same update adds Muller did not clash with any of the Hurricanes players. 

"Despite the disappointing season, Francis said in talking to the players he never received 'any indications that there was friction between Kirk and the players. 

"Canes owner Peter Karmanos, Jr. said last week that he did not blame Muller and the coaching staff for the 36-35-11 finish this season, saying injuries to goalies Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward were major factors. 

 

"Karmanos insisted Francis would make the decision on Muller, and Francis said during last week's press conference, 'I am my own man.'

"Muller could not be reached Monday for comment." 

Alexander also identifies possible coaching candidates to replace Muller. These are New York Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson, former Florida Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen and former Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz. 

For more of the hottest sports news, check out Sport Balla today. 

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