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Sports Flames hire former Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller

02:16  11 june  2021
02:16  11 june  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

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a group of baseball players standing on top of each other: Interim head coach Kirk Muller of the Montreal Canadiens speaks to his team during a timeout against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series at Scotiabank Arena on August 16, 2020, in Toronto. © Provided by The Gazette Interim head coach Kirk Muller of the Montreal Canadiens speaks to his team during a timeout against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series at Scotiabank Arena on August 16, 2020, in Toronto.

Former Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller has a new job.

The Calgary Flames announced Thursday that Muller is their new associate coach under head coach Darryl Sutter. The Flames also announced that Cail MacLean has been hired as an assistant coach after spending the last three seasons as head coach of the AHL’s Stockton Heat, Calgary’s farm team.

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The Canadiens fired Muller and head coach Claude Julien this season after the team got off to a 9-5-4 start. Dominique Ducharme took over as interim head coach and Alex Burrows was hired as an assistant coach. Muller was in his fifth season as an associate coach with the Canadiens.

“I’m very excited and look forward to getting started,” Muller said during a video interview on the Flames’ website . “It’s always special to be a part of any organization in Canada. Being from Kingston, Ont., and growing up there and having a chance to play in Canada, there’s nothing like it. So when the opportunity presented itself, I talked to Darryl and (GM Brad Treliving) it was obviously something I couldn’t give up.

“It will be a little later at night for the games for my mother to watch, but other than that (I’m) thrilled to be involved with a Canadian team. Calgary’s got such great tradition and such a great hockey town, great fans, I’m really excited to be a part of it.”

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  Stu Cowan: Tough decisions looming as Canadiens chart future With the Canadiens facing elimination in Game 5 Thursday night in Toronto, it seemed like a good time to look ahead to what might happen next season. It’s not a pretty picture. The Canadiens had the worst record of the 16 teams that made the playoffs this season (24-21-11) and caught a break by playing in a weak all-Canadian division. Last season, they had the worst record of the 24 teams that made the expanded postseason because of COVID-19 (31-31-9). The two seasons before that, the Canadiens missed the playoffs and it looks like there’s a very good chance of that happening again next year unless they can find a way to score more goals.

Muller played 19 years in the NHL, including four seasons with the Canadiens and was part of Montreal’s last Stanley Cup team in 1993. After retiring as a player following the 2002-03 season with the Dallas Stars, he spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Canadiens, starting in 2006-07, before becoming head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals and then head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes missed the playoffs in all three seasons Muller was head coach. He then spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues before returning to the Canadiens as an associate coach.

The Flames missed the playoffs this season, finishing fifth in the North Division with a 26-27-3 record.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

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usr: 0
This is interesting!