MOSCOW, April 10 (R-Sport) – Weeks after expressing a desire to extend his one-year contract with Metallurg Magnitorgorsk, head coach Paul Maurice has notified team officials he won't be back next season.
Metallurg vice-president Pavel Krasheninnikov confirmed the news to R-Sport on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, a source told R-Sport that Maurice, 46, told Metallurg management back in March that he had no plans to re-sign with the club.
"The reason is family circumstances," the source said. "His family doesn't want him to leave for the job in Russia."
Maurice coached the Hartford Whalers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes over a 15-year NHL career, leading the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002. He joined Metallurg before the 2012-2013 season after he was fired by the Hurricanes. Metallurg finished fourth in the Eastern Conference, but bowed out in the Gagarin Cup quaterfinals, losing a tight seven-game series to Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
Maurice, a Sault Ste. Marie native, returned to Canada after the playoffs, but not before expressing a desire to Metallurg general manager Gennady Velichkin that he wanted to stay with the club next season. He did, however, say that he would return to the NHL if he received offers.
Krasheninnikov told R-Sport that Maurice had a positive impact on the club - he won 30 of 56 games at Metallurg - despite the disappointing playoff finish.
"He's a man who worked with the top team, the young people and, in general, all over the club," Krasheninnikov said. "Maurice watched, analyzed and made conclusions. I can't say anything bad about him."
Metallurg, meanwhile, has already started the search for a new coach after its worst-ever performance in the KHL playoffs.
“The search is under way. There are a lot of possibilities, including both foreign and Russian coaches. The management is still mulling the options,” the source said.