After several days of speculation and rumor, the Milwaukee Admirals officially announced Kirk Muller at their head coach this morning.
Muller has spent the past five seasons as the assistant coach of the Montreal Canadiens and had been considered for several head coaching positions in the NHL since the end of the season. It appears that he wanted to add head coaching at the second highest level as a way to bolster his appeal to an NHL team needing a head coach.
Muller spent 19 seasons in the NHL, retiring in 2003. He played 1349 games with with six different teams, scoring 357 goals and adding 602 assists.
His coaching career started at Queens University before joining the Montreal organization.
Muller will begin his career in the Predators organization at the Nashville Development Camp that starts today.
Make the jump for the full press release from the Predators...
KIRK MULLER NAMED HEAD COACH OF THE MILWAKEE ADMIRALS
Nashville, Tenn. (June 27, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that Kirk Muller has been named the head coach of the team’s primary developmental affiliate, the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals.
“Kirk Muller was everything we were looking for in our development coach,” Poile said. “With his playing pedigree, experience as a captain and Stanley Cup winner, and his solid communication skills, we feel our young players and prospects are in great hands.”
Muller, 45 (2/8/66), has spent the past five seasons as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens, helping them reach the playoffs in each of the past four campaigns, and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010. Known as an excellent communicator, motivator and an outstanding strategist, the Kingston, Ont., native is credited for transforming a Habs penalty killing unit that has finished in the top half of the League each season since his arrival, including a seventh-place ranking in 2010-11. The Canadiens did not give up a power-play goal in their seven 2011 postseason contests, going 21-for-21. During his second season behind the Montreal bench in 2007-08, the club posted its best record since the 1988-89 club the advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, going and Eastern Conference best 47-25-10 (105 points).
Prior to joining the Montreal staff on June 20, 2006, Muller spent one season as head coach of the Queen's University Golden Gaels (Canadian University) in his hometown of Kingston. He also served as an assistant coach on Canada’s entries at the 2005 Lotto Cup Tournament, winning a gold medal, and the 2006 Under-18 World Championships.
Selected second overall by New Jersey in the 1984 Entry Draft, Muller retired after an illustrious 19-season career in 2003 (N.J., MTL, NYI, TOR, FLA, DAL) which saw him post 959 points (357g-602a) in 1,349 regular-season games (42nd all-time) and 69 points (33g-36a) in 127 playoff games. The nine-time 20-goal scorer and five-time 30-goal man played in six NHL All-Star Games (1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993), with his best season coming in 1992-93, when the left winger tied a career-high with 94 points (37g-57a) and pitched in 17 (10g-7a) more during the Canadiens run to the 1993 Stanley Cup. He also represented Canada at four World Championships (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989) and in the 1984 Olympics.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass