Kirk Muller, 46, is in his second season as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, and entered the 2012-13 campaign with a career record of 25-20-12. Muller, who was named head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 28, 2011, is the 12th person to serve as head coach in franchise history, and the third since the team relocated to North Carolina in 1997.
This marks Muller’s first head coaching position in the NHL; he previously served as a head coach for the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League (AHL). The Kingston, Ont., native had a record of 10-6-0 with Milwaukee during the 2011-12 season, after taking the job as head coach for the Nashville Predators’ top minor-league affiliate in July 2011.
Prior to joining the Admirals, Muller spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens, helping the Habs reach the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, including a trip to the Eastern Conference Final in 2010. During his second season behind the bench in 2007-08, Montreal went 47-25-10 (105 points), marking its best record since 1988-89. Muller worked extensively with the Habs’ penalty killing unit throughout his tenure in Montreal, helping it finish in the top half of the League in each season under his watch, including a seventh-place ranking in 2010-11 and a perfect 21-for-21 performance during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Prior to joining the Canadiens on June 20, 2006, Muller spent one season as head coach with the Queen’s University Golden Gaels in his hometown of Kingston. He also served as an assistant coach for Canada at the 2005 Lotto Cup and the 2006 Under-18 World Championship.
As a player, Muller totaled 357 goals and 602 assists (959 points) in 1,349 career NHL games over 19 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars from 1984-2003. He skated in 127 career Stanley Cup playoff games, totaling 69 points (33g, 36a), including the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Canadiens in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final. He also reached the Final with Dallas in 2000, when the Stars fell to New Jersey.
A six-time NHL All-Star (1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993), Muller posted 30-or-more goals five times in his career, 20-or-more goals nine times, and had seven 70-point seasons. He established career highs with New Jersey in 1987-88 and Montreal in 1992-93, totaling 37 goals, 57 assists and 94 points in each of those seasons. Muller served as captain for both the Devils (1989-91) and the Canadiens (1994-95).
Prior to turning professional, Muller played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for Kingston and Guelph, and represented Canada at the 1984 Olympic Games. He made his NHL debut for New Jersey straight out of junior hockey in 1984, after the Devils selected him second overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, behind only Mario Lemieux. In addition to the 1984 Olympics, Muller also represented Canada at four World Championships (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989) and at the 1984 World Junior Championship.
Muller and his wife, Stacey, have four daughters – twins Brittney and Kourtney, Bryelle and Kira.