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Head coach Kirk Muller fired by Carolina Hurricanes – SportsUntapped.com
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Added May 6th, 2014 by Ian

Head coach Kirk Muller fired by Carolina Hurricanes
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New Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis didn’t waste any time in cleaning house as he sent head coach Kirk Muller packing from the NHL club on May 5, just a week after the GM was hired. The move was easy to understand for most fans since the team hasn’t made the playoffs in the last five years with Muller being behind the bench for the last three of them.

Also receiving their pink slips were assistant coaches John MacLean and Dave Lewis and goalie coach Greg Stefan was assigned to the club’s pro scouting department. The only coach left standing after the overhaul was assistant Rod Brind’Amour, who will keep his current job. Francis said the 48-year-old Muller’s passionate coach and a good person, but at the end of the day he felt the team needed to head in a new direction.

When Muller was hired as the Hurricanes coach midway through the 2011/12 campaign he had no head coaching experience whatsoever other than 17 games’ worth in the AHL (American Hockey League) with the Milwaukee Admirals. However, he did work as a assistant coach for the five previous years with the Montreal Canadiens.

Carolina finished 12th place in the league’s Eastern Conference during Muller’s first year in charge and then collapsed the next season by winning just two of 18 games down the stretch. Muller missed the postseason again this year after the team went through a stretch of two wins in 10 games. His final record with Carolina was 80-80-27.

But even though Muller couldn’t guide the squad to the playoffs he seemed to have the support of club owner Peter Karmanos who gave him a vote of confidence at the end of the regular season last month. The owner said the club suffered some injuries to key players and he didn’t blame Muller for the team’s performance. But he admitted that it was up to Francis to decide on Muller’s future with the team.

Francis agreed with his boss to a point when he remarked that the players needed to shoulder some of the blame as well. Francis said the team was too inconsistent as they looked great one night and terrible the next. The GM said, “This in no way shape or form takes the players off the hook. They have to be held accountable for their actions and how they played.”

Francis believes the team’s next coach needs to be an excellent communicator, leader and teacher to get the most out of the players. He said he’s already received some inquiries about the coaching vacancy, but wants to make sure he isn’t rushed into making a decision. He added that it will also9 take him some time to evaluate the players, but will try to upgrade the roster through the June Entry Draft, trades and free agency.

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