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Florida Panthers make Paul Maurice hiring official

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The Florida Panthers officially name Paul Maurice as the 17th coach in franchise history. — Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

The Florida Panthers officially named Paul Maurice the 18th coach in franchise history on Wednesday evening after news broke he would be hired earlier that morning.

He will join general manager Bill Zito on Thursday morning at FLA Live Arena for his introductory press conference.

Maurice, 55, replaces interim coach Andrew Brunette who took over for Joel Quenneville following his resignation in June October.

Brunette has been asked to remain within the organization and could join Maurice’s new staff.

As it stands now, only Tuomo Ruutu is confirmed as an assistant coach; Derek MacKenzie and Ulf Samuelsson did not have their contracts extended.

Goalie coach Robb Tallas is expected to return.

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“At the completion of our season, we began an in-depth examination of all aspects of our team,” Zito said in a statement.

”After taking the appropriate amount of time for analysis, we determined that we needed the perfect fit to continue with the growth of our players and stay on the path for our franchise goals,” said Zito. “Paul’s experience and intellect were just what we were looking for and we are thrilled for him to step into the role of head coach.” 

 Maurice has been a coach in the NHL 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).

He has a 775-680-99-130 career record and is one of three coaches to earn at least 300 wins with two different franchises. 

Maurice has coached 92 playoff games — as sixth-most among active coaches.

He reached the Final with Carolina in 2002. 

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