Marlies’ Maurice promoted to Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday that Paul Maurice has been named as the team’s new head coach.

Maurice, who spent eight seasons as head coach of the Hartford Whalers and Carolina Hurricanes, recently completed his first season in that capacity with the Leafs’ American Hockey League club, the Toronto Marlies.

“Paul Maurice is one of the most highly-regarded young head coaches in the game,” said John Ferguson, vice president and general manager of the Leafs. “Paul brings a significant advantage of having a thorough knowledge of the players in our system. Thanks in large part to the outstanding leadership role Paul played in accelerating the development of our young players with the Marlies, 12 rookies in our system made their debut with the Leafs this past season and performed well in doing so.

"Paul brings a new approach to the Leafs that we’re confident will make us more competitive in the short-term, and will be instrumental in helping us compete for a Stanley Cup on a consistent basis, and winning the Cup, in the years ahead.”

Under Maurice, 39, the Marlies posted a record of 41-29-4-6 in their first season in Toronto. They advanced to the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs, where they were eliminated by the team with the league’s best regular-season record, the Grand Rapids Griffins, in the North Division semifinals.