Paul Maurice (born January 30, 1967 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) is a Canadian professional ice hockey head coach of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes. Originally a defenseman in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Maurice's playing career ended after an eye injury. Maurice formerly coached the Hartford Whalers/Hurricanes franchise from 1995–2003 and the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2006–2008. On December 3, 2008, Maurice was re-hired by the Hurricanes after the firing of Peter Laviolette, who had replaced him in 2003.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
Maurice was the Philadelphia Flyers' 12th choice, 252nd overall, in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, five spots after former Maple Leafs Vice-President and General Manager John Ferguson, Jr. was taken by the Montreal Canadiens.
In 1985, Paul played defense for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. He was struck in the eye by a puck, which had ricocheted off his stick, during a charity hockey game in which he was participating. He still has a blind spot and suffers fuzziness on the right side of his field of vision. When goalie Pat Jablonski was sent down by the St. Louis Blues, the Windsor Spitfires were therefore in excess number of players. At this point he was given the option by team owner Peter Karmanos to be traded or step behind the bench. He thus began his coaching career with the Detroit Junior Red Wings (a team Karmanos operated) of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 1993 to 1995, leading the team to the J. Ross Robertson Cup and a second place finish in Memorial Cup in 1995.
Coaching career[edit | edit source]
Maurice was then hired to coach the Hartford Whalers (later the Carolina Hurricanes) of the NHL in 1995, at the remarkably young age of 28. Throughout much of his tenure, he was the youngest active coach in the NHL. The high point of his NHL career came in the 2001–02 NHL season, when the Hurricanes reached the Stanley Cup finals, losing to the Detroit Red Wings. After coaching 604 regular season games, he was let go by the Hurricanes in 2003 when the team started the first 20 games 8-12. Under Maurice the Hurricanes achieved three winning seasons from 1998–2002.
On June 24, 2005, he was hired to coach the Toronto Marlies, after the team had relocated from St. John's, Newfoundland. In the 2005–06 season, the Marlies qualified for fourth playoff spot in their division. They were subsequently eliminated by the Grand Rapids Griffins in the first round.
Maurice reached several coaching milestones during his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, registering a career-high in wins (40) and points percentage (.555). He also earned his 300th NHL victory March 6, 2007 versus Washington and coached his 750th NHL game March 27, 2007 versus Carolina.
On May 7, 2008, Maurice was fired by interim Maple Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher, after missing the playoffs for two seasons in a row.
Coaching record[edit | edit source]
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Hartford Whalers||1995–96||70||29||33||8||-||(77)||5th in Northeast||-||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|1996–97||82||32||39||11||-||75||5th in Northeast||-||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|Carolina Hurricanes||1997–98||82||33||41||8||-||74||6th in Northeast||-||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|1998–99||82||34||30||18||-||86||1st in Southeast||2||4||.333||Lost in Conf. Quarter-Finals|
|1999–00||82||37||35||10||0||84||3rd in Southeast||-||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|2000–01||82||38||32||9||3||88||2nd in Southeast||2||4||.333||Lost in Conf. Quarter-Finals|
|2001–02||82||35||26||16||5||91||1st in Southeast||13||10||.565||Lost in Stanley Cup Finals|
|2002–03||82||22||43||11||6||61||5th in Southeast||-||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|HAR/CAR total||674||268||291||99||16||651||17||18||.486||3 Playoff Appearances|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||2006–07||82||40||31||-||11||91||3rd in Northeast||Missed Playoffs|
|2007–08||82||36||35||-||11||83||5th in Northeast||Missed Playoffs|
|Carolina Hurricanes||2008–09||57||33||19||-||5||(97)||2nd in Southeast||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|Total||895||377||376||99||43||825||17||18||.486||4 Playoff Appearances|
[edit | edit source]
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