The second NHL head coaching change of the day sees the Nashville Predators lose Kirk Muller as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals, as he takes the job in Carolina after the Hurricanes fired Paul Maurice, as reported on Twitter by Bob McKenzie.
UPDATE: Per Josh Cooper, Ian Herbers will take over as head coach in Milwaukee on a permanent basis.
So far with the Ads, Muller compiled a 10-6-0-1 record, good for 3rd place in the AHL's Midwest Division. While he was never expected to be a lifer with the Preds, he certainly still had that "new coach smell" and it's surprising to see him leave so quickly.
The thing that worries me about this whole episode is the nagging impression that this could represent a long-term disruption to the normally smooth relationship between the Predators and the Admirals. Based on an interview that Muller did with the Montreal Gazette, it sounds like rather than marching to the Nashville tune, he was pretty much free to call his shots there:
One of the selling points for Muller in Milwaukee was the fact the Nashville Predators, the parent NHL team, allowed him to bring in his own system.
"I had a great conversation with (Predators coach) Barry Trotz and (assistant GM) Paul Fenton and (GM) David Poile, and they said: 'We certainly welcome you to bring in your own system that you want,' " Muller said. "That was one of the attractions about coming here - the opportunity to kind of put my own stamp on a team and my own identity."
So where does this leave the Admirals and the Predators going forward?