New Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice was introduced to the media at a press conference on Thursday, and his speech was a lot different from his farewell to the Florida Panthers. Winnipeg last December.
The 55-year-old was officially confirmed in office on Wednesday evening and is ready to lead his squad to the Stanley Cup. Contrary to what he said when he left Manitoba, he believes he is the right person to help the Panthers win in the playoffs. It was a disappointing spring of 2022 at Sunrise, where the club bowed out in the second round after winning the Presidents' Trophy in the regular season.
“There's a lot of good here. If you look at history, you see several powerful formations and Florida is now one of them. Going back in time, there was Detroit in the mid-1990s, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay a few years before today…the talent is there, but needs to be developed to a certain level, he said . Then it's the next phase and the whole thing is not necessarily evaluated from the number of points in the season or the goals scored.”
Also, the former pilot of the Carolina Hurricanes and of the Toronto Maple Leafs, in particular, wants its players to learn from their mistakes so as not to repeat them during the next campaign and especially the subsequent series.
“You have to be ready for this. Transition is about going through the tough stuff and the commitment of the whole group to move forward when adversity comes their way. You have earned the right to survive this adversity.”
The right combination
In the eyes of general manager Bill Zito, Maurice's presence is the welcome, although Andrew Brunette has done a good job as interim pilot after taking over from Joel Quenneville during the year.
“When we spoke with Paul Maurice, it was obvious that he it was the right combination, the GM said. Andrew was a serious and solid candidate for the job. With us, he was very vigorous and did an excellent job. On the other hand, it was important to look at the future and the challenges ahead as we approach the next season. We know those challenges and that's what we've focused on.”
Maurice led the Jets from 2013-14 and had 315 wins at the helm of the team. For her part, Brunette has won 51 in 75 games.