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Florida Panthers officially name Paul Maurice as new head coach

Cats will have the third man in a less than year behind the bench next season

Buffalo Sabres v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The Florida Panthers have announced that Paul Maurice has been named head coach, replacing interim head coach Andrew Brunette, who the led the club to its first Presidents’ Trophy and first playoff win in 26 years.

Maurice, 55, has served as a NHL head coach for 24 seasons, including time with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes (1995-96 to 2003-04, 2008-09 to 2011-12), Toronto Maple Leafs (2006-07 to 2007-08) and Winnipeg Jets (2013-14 to 2021-22). Owning a 775-680-99-130 career record, Maurice’s 1,684 games coached are the fourth-most in NHL history. His 775 victories as an NHL head coach are the seventh-most all time, and he is one of three coaches to earn at least 300 wins with two different franchises.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Maurice has coached 92 games as a head coach, the sixth-most among active bench bosses. With Carolina, he reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2001-02 and the Eastern Conference Final in 2008-09, and he reached the Western Conference Final with Winnipeg in 2017-18.

The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native has set numerous milestones throughout his extensive career behind an NHL bench. When he was first hired by the Hartford Whalers to serve as their head coach during the 1995-96 season, he became the then second-youngest NHL head coach in league history. He owns the Winnipeg Jets franchise record for games coached (600) and wins (315) and was the youngest in League history to reach both 1,000 and 1,500 games as a head coach, and the second-youngest to earn 500 wins.

Prior to his NHL head coaching career, Maurice spent two seasons (1993-94 to 1994-95) as head coach of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), culminating in an OHL championship in 1994-95.

Outside of the NHL, Maurice served as head coach of Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League during the 2012-13 season, leading the club to a 27-13-12 record.

On the international stage, Maurice served as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Championship and for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, where Europe advanced to the best-of-three final.

Welcome to the organization, may your time here be fruitful, and by fruotful I mean result in a Stanley Cup championship.