Florida Panthers head coach Paul Morris wasn’t sure he would return behind the bench for the NHL team after he stepped down as coach of the Winnipeg Jets in December 2021. However, things have clearly improved as his team is currently leading 2-0 at Second round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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When he resigned from his job as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets on December 17, 2021, Paul Morris stated that he had accumulated a lot of fatigue and that he no longer had the hockey flame.
“This may be a very simplistic answer, I lost my love for hockey and it was affecting me and I found it again,” said the 56-year-old, whose words are quoted on NHL.com.
In June 2022, Morris was heading to his cabin in northern Ontario, for his favorite activity, fishing, and got a call from the Panthers’ general manager, Bill Zito, who told him he had offered the position with the Florida team.
“Two teams called me when I retired and when I took a step back. It was easy for me. I didn’t see any point in it. That’s when Bill Zito called me. He said, ‘I just want to know what interests you.'” I replied that the Florida Panthers take care of me
He never regretted accepting the position with the Panthers, despite what wasn’t an easy regular season for the Florida team.
The Panthers finished the campaign with a 42-32-8 record and were the last team to qualify for the playoffs.
“This year has been difficult because of everything we have been through. But at the same time, I had a lot of fun,” said the main interested party.
New system and membership
The man with the sixth most coaching wins in NHL history brought a new system of play and the Panthers’ key players quickly adopted it, much to Morris’s delight.
“There’s membership, of course, but I’ve got a group of players here who can play this way and that hard, and that’s what they do. So we have enough players who can do that. It’s just a natural progression for strong teams,” Paul Morris said.
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