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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Paul Maurice on the Stanley Cup: ‘I Want to Win One, Man’



Paul maurice
Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice watches his team during practice on Friday morning in Sunrise before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE — Paul Maurice, as one may expect, is someone who seems to appreciate the moment.

It took the longtime coach 21 years to get back to the Stanley Cup Final after losing to the Red Wings with Carolina in 2002 and admits Florida’s loss to Vegas took some time to get over.

“It did not happen until I walked into this rink in August,” Maurice told Florida Hockey Now at the start of training camp.

“You have to see the players. Once you see the players, you start getting fired up all over again. You’re like, ‘to hell with it, let’s do it again.’ The first two or three weeks, (losing) is the only thing that was in your head. It is all you see. Then, slowly, you start to see the good.”

To hell with it, the Panthers did it again.

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It certainly idd not take Maurice 21 years to get back to the Cup Final after losing in it last year as his Panthers have been twice in his two years behind their bench.

“He’s been around the game so much, been such a good coach for so long,’’ Sam Reinhart said. “He’s got all the respect in the world from the players and the guys in that room, the staff, everybody. I think it’s no surprise what he’s been able to do to our organization, the belief he’s instilled in us the last couple years, so it would be obviously unbelievable to cap it off.”

Said Matthew Tkachuk: “He’s coached, I don’t even know the amount of games or the hours he has put in. He is such an amazing coach, the best one I have had. I am such a better player now than when I started here. I have nothing but good things to say about him, have nothing but respect for him. First and foremost, you want to win it for yourself, and for the teammate next to you. A guy like Paul, it means a lot to him … and we would definitely want to get it for him.’’

Whenever someone wants to disparage Maurice’s coaching acumen, they point to a couple of things.

First, Maurice has the most losses of any coach in NHL history.

Considering some of the tire fires he walked into — the soon-to-relocate Hartford Whalers to start, a mess of a Toronto team, a Winnipeg squad rebuilding after leaving Atlanta — that is easy to understand.

The second is that, in all his years as a coach, he has not won the Stanley Cup.

Maurice does not take any of it personally.

He knows the story.

And, he knows he would like to feel what it is like to lift that Cup just once.

“Everybody’s different,’’ Maurice said on Friday morning. “Every coach is different. And it seems to me, as you age, you get a different perspective on life and what’s important and valuable.

“I need to win one. Now, it’s not going to change the section of my life that’s not related to hockey at all. That’s the truth. That’s how I feel. I’m 30 years into this thing. Wouldn’t mind winning one.”

Paul Maurice knows what kind of a coach he has been in his career and he feels content in the job he is done.

He also knows something is missing.

These Panthers have the opportunity to get him there.

“I’m going to know when this thing’s all over either how good I got or how good I was,’’ Maurice said.

“And I won’t need somebody else to tell me that or to value my career. … Yeah, I’d like to really win one, man.’’

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

  • When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Betting Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-145); Puck line (-1.5, +165); Over/Under 5.5 (-120/-110). Series Panthers -150
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1:Edmonton at Florida, Saturday; Game 2: Edmonton at Florida, Monday; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday; Game 4: Florida at Edmonton, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; Game 7*: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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Duke del Valle

Best of luck to Coach Maurice and the Panthers both tonight and for the entire Stanley Cup Finals.

Go Cats!

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