Paul Maurice, 43, was named the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 3, 2008, and is in his 13th season with the Hurricanes franchise. Taking over a team with a record of 12-11-2 in 2008-09, Maurice guided the Hurricanes to a 33-19-5 record over the remainder of the season, as the team earned its first berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2006. He then directed the team to consecutive Game 7 road victories, knocking off the Atlantic Division Champion New Jersey Devils and the Northeast Division Champion Boston Bruins, en route to the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.
Maurice earned his 300th win with the Hurricanes franchise on April 4, 2009, as the Hurricanes defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime to clinch a spot in the 2009 playoffs. He is the winningest coach in Hurricanes franchise history, having amassed 376 wins in his 895 regular-season games coached, including his current tenure and his first term with the franchise from Nov. 6, 1995, until Dec. 15, 2003. Maurice guided the Hurricanes to the 2002 Eastern Conference title and two Southeast Division crowns during his first stint as the team’s head coach, and led the team to four consecutive winning seasons from 1998-2002. On March 16, 2010, he became just the 10th coach in NHL history, and third active coach, to spend more than 800 games behind the bench for one franchise.
In addition to his regular-season records, he ranks first in franchise history in playoff wins (25) and playoff games coached (53). Prior to the 2003-04 season, Maurice was the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL, having originally been promoted from a Whalers assistant coach position on Nov. 6, 1995. At only 28 years old when he was first hired, Maurice was the league’s youngest head coach, a distinction he maintained until the Boston Bruins hired Mike Sullivan on June 23, 2003.
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Maurice has earned a career NHL coaching record of 452-444-163 in 14 seasons with the Carolina franchise and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He won his 400th career NHL game when the Hurricanes defeated the Buffalo Sabres in overtime on Feb. 11, 2010, and on Nov. 28, 2010, he became the 19th coach, and the youngest in history, to coach 1,000 NHL games. Prior to re-joining the Hurricanes, Maurice collected a record of 76-66-22 during two full seasons as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2006-08. Maurice earned a career-high in wins with Toronto during the 2006-07 season, leading the Maple Leafs to 40 victories, and recording his 300th NHL victory on March 6, 2007.
Prior to moving to the NHL level during the summer of 1995 as an assistant coach with the Whalers, Maurice spent two seasons as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Detroit Jr. Red Wings. While in Detroit, he compiled a regular-season record of 86-38-8 and led the team to the 1995 OHL Championship and an appearance in the Memorial Cup in Kamloops, B.C. That season, he finished second in voting to Guelph’s Craig Hartsburg for the Matt Leyden Trophy, which is annually awarded to the OHL’s Coach of the Year.
Maurice played his junior hockey with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires (1984-1988). He was Philadelphia’s 12th choice, 252nd overall, in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. Maurice had his career cut short due to an eye injury, and began coaching as an assistant with the Jr. Red Wings shortly thereafter.
Maurice and his wife, Michelle, have three children: Sydney, Jake and Luke.