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Photo: Jacob Kupferman

Vellucci leaving Hurricanes organization

The Carolina Hurricanes announced today that the team has mutually parted ways with Mike Vellucci, their assistant general manager/director of hockey operations and Charlotte Checkers head coach.

“I’m thankful for my time with the Hurricanes organization,”¬†said Vellucci.¬†“We created some great memories in Charlotte, including winning the franchise’s first Calder Cup and bringing the first championship to Charlotte last season. After 27 years it’s hard to leave, but I have been presented with an exciting opportunity that makes sense for my future.”

Vellucci, 52, won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in 2018-19, leading Charlotte to the best regular-season record in the league and later a Calder Cup championship. The Checkers’ 51-17-7-1 record (.724) was the 10th-best in AHL history, and the team led the league in penalty killing while ranking second in goals allowed and fifth in goals scored.

Vellucci was instrumental in developing prospects for the Hurricanes, who reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2018-19 for the first time in a decade; 13 different Checkers players earned recalls to Carolina during the season.

Vellucci spent five years with Carolina following 14 seasons with Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League, where he was twice named OHL Coach of the Year. He also coached Detroit Compuware of the North American Hockey League from 1994-99.