Don't Miss

Monday’s coaching firings affect Predators organization…

No, Barry Trotz has not been fired.

But two NHL teams did say “peace out” to their bench bosses this morning. The Washington Capitals fired Bruce Boudreau after four seasons and the Carolina Hurricanes severed ties with Paul Maurice for the second time.

It’s the Hurricanes move that impacted the Predators.

Maurice went 116-100-30 in his second stint manning the benches in Carolina but a Southeast Division worst 8-13-4 record this season along with a 70-point captain (Eric Staal) playing terrible hockey (11 points in 25 games and a league worst minus-17 rating) led to his demise.

Milwaukee Admirals Head Coach Kirk Muller will take Maurice’s spot and Admirals’ Assistant Coach Ian Herbers will take Muller’s.

Muller has never been a head coach at the NHL level. His coaching resume consists of a single year as the bench boss of Queen’s University, five years as the assistant coach of the Montreal Canadiens and then 17 games as the head coach of the Ads. He will coach his first NHL game on Tuesday when the Hurricanes host the Florida Panthers.

The Kingston, Ontario native won a Stanley Cup while skating for the Canadiens in 1993.

Herbers was the head man with the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs for two years before becoming an assistant in Milwaukee in 2009. He was also considered a finalist for the head coaching gig before it was awarded to Muller this past summer.

He may have missed out then but he obviously didn’t have to wait long. His first game as head coach will be tomorrow night when the Admirals face off against the Abbotsford Heat at Bradley Center.

UPDATE (11.28.11, 4:01pm): The Milwaukee Admirals’ official press release is below:


Herbers takes Over for Kirk Muller

Milwaukee, WI–The Milwaukee Admirals announced today that Ian Herbers has been named the team’s new head coach. Herbers replaces Kirk Muller, who was named the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes today.

Herbers, the 19th head coach in Admirals history, has spent the past two plus seasons as the team’s top assistant. During his time in Milwaukee he has helped the Admirals to a combined 95-58-8-16 record, an impressive .605 winning percentage. In addition to his overall duties as bench boss, Herbers will continue to be responsible for the team’s defensive corps and the penalty kill unit.

In addition, Nashville Predators Director of Player Development Martin Gelinas will serve as Herbers assistant coach on an interim basis.

Herbers joined the Admirals after spending two seasons as the head coach of the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL. During his time at the helm of the Chiefs, Herbers guided the team to a 73-60-8-3 record and a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2007-08 where they lost in the second round to the eventual champions. Prior to joining the Chiefs, the Jasper, AB native spent three seasons with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, including two as the associate head coach. During those two years the Spirit compiled an impressive 80-51-2-3 record and a pair of playoff appearances.

The 44-year old Herbers, ended a successful 12-year playing career after the 2003-04 season. He totaled five assists and 79 penalty minutes in 65 career National Hockey League games with the Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders and helped two teams win league championships: the 1993 Cape Breton Oilers in the American Hockey League and the 1997 Detroit Vipers in the International Hockey League.

The Buffalo Sabers 10th pick in the 1987 NHL draft, Herbers played 586 games in parts of ten seasons in the AHL and IHL with the Oilers, Vipers and Cleveland Lumberjacks. He totaled 147 points on 40 goals and 107 assists to go along with 1113 penalty minutes. He also posted 26 points (5g-21a) and 179 PIMs in 91 career post-season contests. His best seasons from an offensive perspective came with Detroit in the 1998-99 campaign when he set career highs in goals (8), assists (16), and points (24).

Muller leaves the Admirals as the shortest tenured coach in team history. The previous mark was held by Richard Jamieson, who was fired after 25 games (6-15-4-0) in the 1979-80 season. This is the first time in Admirals history that they have had a coach promoted to the NHL during the season and the first time they have had a coaching change mid-year since 1984-85 when Jim Pappin replaced Cliff Coroll behind the bench.

Herbers will man the bench for the first time on Tuesday, November 29th when the Admirals host the Abbotsford Heat at 7:00 pm at the Bradley Center.

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Nicholson // special to all Nashville Predators blogs (used with permission)

One Comment