NHL notebook: Hurricanes clean house, fire Muller
Ron Francis wasted little time putting his stamp on the Hurricanes.
One week into his new job as general manager, Francis fired coach Kirk Muller and most of his staff.
Now leading a franchise that has made the playoffs just once in eight years, Francis cited the need for a “fresh start” and warned that nobody on the roster — from the marquee names, to the grinders at the end of the bench — is untouchable.
“I don't think changing the coaches lets the players off the hook,” Francis said. “I think there has to be a lot of responsibility on their shoulders as well to turn this thing around. Hopefully we can do that going forward.”
Francis, a Hall of Fame player and former captain and assistant coach with the Hurricanes, took control of the team last week when Jim Rutherford stepped aside after a two-decade run as its GM.
As part of his first big housecleaning move, assistants John MacLean and Dave Lewis also were fired and goaltending coach Greg Stefan was reassigned back to the team's pro scouting department.
Francis says it's “an open search at this point,” is looking for “a guy who's a teacher” with strong communication and leadership qualities and ideally would like to hire his new coach before the June 27-28 draft.
Muller was 80-80-27 in three seasons with the Hurricanes, who haven't made the playoffs since 2009, the longest active drought in the Eastern Conference. Carolina finished 13th in the 16-team East this season.
Ex-Flyer Lonsberry dies
Ross Lonsberry, who helped the Flyers win the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975, died at a hospital in California on Sunday after a lengthy battle with cancer, NHL.com reported. He was 67.
Lonsberry played for Hall of Fame coach Fred Shero, father of Penguins general manager Ray Shero. He scored 566 points in 968 games spanning 15 seasons with the Bruins, Kings, Flyers and Penguins.
Price finds lost dogs
Carey Price can relax — his Labrador retrievers are back home.
The Montreal Canadiens goaltender sent a message on Twitter early Monday saying: “If anyone finds two labs running around Candiac they're mine.” Candiac is a suburb south of Montreal.
Local TSN radio reported that a caller who heard their report on the incident found the dogs and returned them to Price, and that the caller got an autographed stick in return.
Price and the Canadiens are in the middle of an NHL Eastern Conference semifinal against the rival Boston Bruins. The series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 set for Tuesday in Montreal.
'Hawks' Shaw out Game 3
Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw will miss Game 3 of the Western Conference second-round series against the Wild with a lower-body injury, according to multiple reports. There is a chance Shaw will be available for Game 4 on Friday in Minnesota.
“We still think he's going on the next part of this trip and could play Friday,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Monday.
Shaw was hurt in the first period of Game 1 and didn't return to the game. He missed Game 2. Chicago leads the series 2-0.