The Carolina Hurricanes fired coach Peter Laviolette on Wednesday, meaning the two winningest American-born NHL coaches are without jobs. (Tampa Bay fired John Tortorella after he took the record last year; Laviolette passed Tortorella last month). The ‘Canes won the Cup under Laviolette in 2006. The story, fromsports.yahoo.com:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)–TheCarolina Hurricanesfired coach Peter Laviolette on Wednesday and replaced him with Paul Maurice, the winningest coach in franchise history.
Hall of Fame player Ron Francis, the team’s assistant general manager, moved from the front office and will be Maurice’s associate coach.
“We have a team that right now that, in my opinion, is not playing with the kind of confidence it needs,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “We’ve lost that confidence.”
Laviolette, who replaced Maurice almost exactly five years ago, led the team to its only Stanley Cup title in 2006. Last month, he became the winningest American-born coach in NHL history.
But the Hurricanes–the only team in the league’s modern history to miss the playoffs two straight years after winning it all–lost four of five during the past 1 1/2 weeks.
Rutherford said he discussed the move with owner Peter Karmanos Jr. earlier this week before receiving permission from new Toronto general manager Brian Burke to speak to Maurice–who was fired last May by the Maple Leafs–about replacing Laviolette.
“It’s really not about the last four or five games,” Rutherford said. “It’s about changing to get the chemistry back on our team, to get the confidence back on our team and make what I would say minor adjustments in a system that really worked in the Stanley Cup year. But teams have adjusted to it, and our team hasn’t adjusted over the last couple of years.”
The 41-year-old Maurice has a career record of 344-357-137 in 11 seasons with Carolina and Toronto.