'Canes give Maurice long-term deal

June 18, 2002 at 3:23 PM
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RALEIGH, N.C., June 18 (UPI) -- After their surprising run to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals this year, the Carolina Hurricanes rewarded Coach Paul Maurice and his top assistants, Kevin McCarthy and Randy Ladouceur, to multi-year contracts.

Contract terms were not made public.

"Paul has done an outstanding job and is very deserving of this new contract," said Hurricanes Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Jim Rutherford. "His records over the last four seasons and in this season's playoffs prove that he is capable of leading our team for years to come. Randy and Kevin are important parts of that success as well and we feel confident that they will continue to help this team in reaching its ultimate goal."

The Hurricanes ranked 15th in points among the 16 playoff teams this season, but advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in the 23-year history of the franchise. They stunned the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils in the first round, beat the Montreal Canadiens in the conference semifinals, and then dumped the Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference finals, winning each series in six games.

But after beating the mighty Detroit Red Wings in the opener of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Hurricanes lost the next four games.

The surprising postseason run put Maurice, who completed his seventh season as Hurricanes coach, in the national spotlight.

At age 35, he remains the league's youngest coach, despite now ranking first among coaches in tenure with the same club following the sudden retirement of Detroit's Scotty Bowman.

Maurice was hired as head coach of the Hartford on Nov. 6, 1995, but failed to make the playoffs in his first three seasons, compiling a record of 94-113-27.

But Rutherford stuck with Maurice after the franchise relocated to North Carolina, and the coach has produced a record of 144-123-53-8 and two Southeast Division titles in his last four seasons.

Maurice ranks first in franchise history in regular season wins (238), games coached (562) and playoff wins (17).

McCarthy just completed his 10th season with the franchise, including six as an assistant, after spending four years as coach of the Hurricanes' top American Hockey League affiliate.

Ladouceur played six-plus seasons with the Whalers, and has also served as an assistant for the last six years.

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