When the time came for Guy Carbonneau to fill out his coaching staff in the summer of 2006, when he was named head coach in Montreal not long after the Hurricanes eliminated the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs, he started with veteran Montreal assistant Doug Jarvis. That was an easy hire.
For his other assistant, he turned to a former NHL teammate whose only coaching experience was at Queens University in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario -- not exactly the upper echelon of the hockey world.
“I wanted somebody who played in the league,” Carbonneau said Tuesday afternoon. “Someone in the right frame of mind, someone who was real. … I kind of had other candidates, but the one thing that I liked about Kirky was his passion for the game. I knew he had that in him. He fit the mold.”
Kirky, of course, is new Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller, who won a Stanley Cup with Carbonneau in Montreal in 1993 and back went to the finals with him in Dallas in 2000. It was Carbonneau’s first head-coaching job, but he had no qualms about hiring an equally inexperienced assistant, because he believed that strongly in Muller.