The Florida Panthers are in the process of hiring Paul Maurice as their new head coach on a three-year deal, according to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.
Maurice, 55, stepped down from his post a head coach of the Winnipeg Jets last December after working behind the bench for nearly eight years and compiling a 315-223-62 record in 600 games with the club.
The Panthers played this past season under interim head coach Andrew Brunette, who took over after Joel Quenneville resigned on Oct. 28.
Under Brunette – who was named a Jack Adams finalist – the Panthers had a franchise-best season, going 58-18-6 as they finished first in the Atlantic Division and making the playoffs for the third year in a row. The team was swept in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning after eliminating the Washington Capitals in the opening round.
Maurice started his NHL coaching career with the Hartford Whalers in 1995 at age 29. He remained with the organization when it moved to Carolina to become the Hurricanes.
Maurice was fired by Carolina in 2003 before being hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs to coach their American Hockey League affiliate in 2005. He became head coach of the Leafs in 2006 after the team fired Pat Quinn, working two seasons in Toronto.
Maurice was rehired by Carolina in December 2008, and remained there until he was let go a second time in 2011.
He then coached one season in the Russian-based Continental Hockey League in 2012-13 before the Jets hired him.
His 775 career wins places him sixth all-time among NHL coaches (775-680-99).
More to follow.