Ex-Canes coach Maurice heads to Russia

calexander@newsobserver.comJune 8, 2012 

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The Canes' head coach Paul Maurice watches the action during the first period of an NHL game played between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Chicago Blackhawks at the RBC Center in Raleigh N.C. on Oct 28, 2011.

CHRIS SEWARD — cseward@newsobserver.com

Paul Maurice recently said he hoped to be back in coaching next season.

And he will be – in Russia.

Maurice, the former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, has been given a one-year contract by Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League, it was announced Friday. Former Canes assistant coach and goaltending coach Tom Barrasso will join Maurice’s staff as an assistant.

Maurice was fired by the Hurricanes on Nov. 28 and replaced by Kirk Muller. The Canes, who were a victory shy of reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2011, were 8-13-4 and in 14th place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference last fall when Muller was brought in as coach.

Maurice, 45, kept a low profile after the firing but said he and his family remained in Raleigh. He served as a guest analyst for the NHL Network and TSN during the playoffs.

Maurice could not be reached Friday. In a recent interview, he talked about the firing, about the desire to get back into hockey soon, about seeing a close friend – New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer – take his team to the Stanley Cup finals.

"It’s never easy (being fired)," Maurice said. "But you keep grinding, you keep going.

"I did enjoy the TV work. That was a way of getting back into it. One of my best friends was making a good run. We talked a lot of hockey together."

Maurice mentioned there were job openings in the NHL, but said he believed some teams would take their time in hiring a head coach with issues about a new collective bargaining agreement to be resolved.

"We’ll see what happens," Maurice said. "I hope to be coaching. It’s what we do."

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