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Paul Maurice Has Had to Evolve, Florida Coach Hits Another Milestone



Paul maurice
Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice speaks at media day before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 2, 2023. The Panthers were the second team Maurice took to the Final after Carolina lost to Detroit in 2003. (AP Photo/John Locher)

SUNRISE — Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice has had to adapt his coaching style throughout his 26-year NHL coaching career.

Once known for directing a strictly staunch defensive game style, Maurice has opened up, allowing his team’s offensive tools to shine.

After all, it is how he has stuck around long enough to coach in his 1,800th game on Wednesday night when Florida visits the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Maurice has come a long way since he was promoted from a first-year NHL assistant to be the second-youngest head coach in the league history at 28 when he took over the Hartford Whalers.

In Maurice’s first game on November 7, 1995, Hartford beat the Sharks 7-3.

“You can see what Paul is trying to do,” said Dallas Stars coach Pete DeBoer, who got his first coaching job under Maurice in 1993 with the OHL’s Detroit Jr. Red Wings.

“They are trying to keep their offensive potency and have a little bit of conscience defensively to their game. I think everybody is looking for that fine line, and from what I’ve seen of Florida, Paul has done a pretty good job of doing that.

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