RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes have given Paul Maurice a three-year contract to remain as head coach, general manager Jim Rutherford said today.
Rutherford said Ron Francis will remain as associate head coach and also has been named director of player personnel.
"Ronnie has done a lot of things for us the last couple of years," Rutherford said. "It's important we recognize him for what he does."
No financial terms were released.
"I'm happy," Maurice said. "When you first start as a young coach, you want a contract, want that security. As an older coach, you want to make sure all the pieces fit and it's good for everybody."
Tom Rowe and Kevin McCarthy will return as assistant coaches, Rutherford said. Tom Barrasso, the Canes' goaltending coach this past season, also has been given the title of assistant coach. Maurice said McCarthy likely would replace Francis behind the bench when Francis misses a game.
Francis, a Hall of Fame player, was the team's assistant general manager until Peter Laviolette was fired as coach Dec. 3 last season and replaced by Maurice. Francis had not coached, or expressed interest in coaching, but Rutherford said there was no doubt in his his mind that Francis would agree to continue to serve as associate head coach.
"He obviously can do many things in our organization," Rutherford said. "But being with the players on a day-to-day basis, working on the specialty teams, but also being right there with Eric Staal as he continues to grow into one of the elite players of the league, I think is good for Eric and I think for Ronnie.
"So there was never any doubt in my mind but there's always things that everybody as to deal with and what they want do to and how much time people have to put into certain jobs. But also we don't want to lose what he's good at in developing these players."
Rutherford said all of the assistant coaches were given three-year contracts but noted, "Ronnie will be here as long as he wants to be."
Rutherford said there may be times next season when Francis is not behind the bench during games.
"He won't be on vacation," Rutherford joked. "He will be out doing something else helping the organization."
Maurice, in his second stint as Carolina's coach, led the Canes to their first playoff appearance since 2006 and playoff series victories over New Jersey and Boston.
Maurice coached the Toronto Maple Leafs the two previous seasons and remained under contract to the Leafs.
"He did what we wanted him to do," Rutherford said. "He took on a team that was struggling with confidence, that needed adjustments with its system .. and translated it into getting the players to play properly."