Although I am surprised to see this, Kirk Muller is expected to be named the new head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals Monday according to TSN.ca.
In the spirit of Milwaukee being known for beer (and lots of it, mind you), let’s crack open a 6-pack of “Things you didn’t know about Head Coach Kirk Muller”
1. According to NJ.com, Muller was a strong candidate for the vacant head coach position in New Jersey. As of now, the Devils haven’t filled the coaching void, but rumor that Ken Hitchcock (formerly bench boss in Columbus) and Marc Crawford (who finished his playing career with the Milwaukee Admirals, and last coached in Dallas) are at the top of the list.
2. You don’t want to meet him in a dark alley, well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be the guy on the receiving end of this fit of rage. Muller played 19 seasons with 6 teams in the NHL, was named to 6 NHL All-Star teams, and hoisted the cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993.
3. We may receive hate mail from Canadiens fans. As I researched Muller, I ran across a lot of fan posting on how disappointed they were to see Muller move on. Muller has spent all five years of his pro coaching career in Montreal as an assistant coach, as well as 4 seasons with the team as a player (1991-1995). His nickname was “Captain Kirk”, as he was named captain of the Habs after Guy Carbonneau’s departure in 1994.
4. Muller was a favorite in the 1984 NHL Draft. He was drafted #2 overall by the New Jersey Devils, behind Mario Lemieux, who went #1 overall to Pittsburgh. Muller was in good company, as NHL greats such as Patrick Roy, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille were also a part of that draft class.
5. Don Cherry is a big fan. Like Cherry, Muller was born in Kingston, Ontario. Cherry’s constant reference to his beloved Kingston regularly included players like Muller and other Kingston-native Doug Gilmour.
6. Muller is going to make an excellent head coach in Milwaukee. Why am I surprised to see that the Admirals snagged Muller for the vacancy left by Lane Lamberts departure, because I thought he’d be bench boss for an NHL team this season. His name has come up in conversations with countless teams in search of a new head coach. New Jersey, Minnesota, Ottawa… the list goes on. Is he ready for a head coaching position in the NHL? That I am not entirely sure of since I don’t follow Montreal with as keen of eye as other organizations, but he was well-received in Montreal as an assistant to the point that multiple teams in the NHL had him on their “list”.
He’ll make a great addition to the organization. Lambert left a solid squad in place for the next coach in line, and if his reputation has anything to say about it, he’ll be able to continue Milwaukee’s tradition of excellence in developing future NHL stars.
All I know is that if I get a suspicious looking envelope in the mail with no return address and a postmark from a city within a 100-mile radius of the Bell Centre, I am NOT opening it. I don’t think Canadien’s fans share our excitement for tomorrows announcement…
Congrats Coach Muller, and welcome to Milwaukee. Well, welcome to Milwaukee if the good folks at TSN.ca are correct…