The Milwaukee Admirals, in conjunction with the Nashville Predators, announced today that Kirk Muller has been hired as the 18th head coach in Admirals franchise history.
Muller has spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens, helping to guide them to the playoffs the past four years, including in 2010 when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals as the eighth seed.
Known as an excellent communicator, motivator and an outstanding strategist, Muller is credited with transforming a Habs penalty-killing unit that has now finished in the top half of the NHL each season since his arrival. During the 2011 playoffs, the Canadiens did not give up a power-play goal, going 21-for-21 in their opening-round series against Boston.
“Kirk Muller was everything we were looking for in our development coach,” said David Poile, Nashville’s president of hockey operations/general manager said. “With his playing pedigree, experience as a captain and Stanley Cup winner, and his solid communication skills, we feel our young players and prospects are in great hands.”
Prior to joining the Canadiens, Muller was the head coach of the Queen’s University Golden Gaels in Kinston, Ont., for one season and he also served as an assistant coach for Team Canada in the 2005 Lotto Cup and the 2006 Under-18 World Championship.
The Kingston, ON native finished a brilliant 19-year playing career with the Dallas Stars in 2003. Drafted second overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1984, he concluded his career with 357 goals and 602 assists for 959 points in 1349 regular season games and 69 points (33g-36a) in 127 post-season contests with six different teams. Muller scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Canadiens in 1993 when they beat Los Angeles, and he made it back to the Finals in 2000 as a member of the Stars.
A six-time all-star, Muller posted 30 or more goals on five occasions during his career and notched the 70-point plateau in seven seasons. His most prolific offensive campaigns came with New Jersey in 1987-88 and Montreal in 1992-93, as he tallied 94 points on 37 goals and 57 assists in each of those seasons. In addition to the Devils, Canadiens, and Stars, he also saw action for the New York Islanders, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers and he also played for Team Canada in the 1984 Olympics.
Muller replaces Lane Lambert, who was promoted by the Predators as an assistant coach after serving the past four seasons as the team’s bench boss.