Within an hour of hearing that Bruce Boudreau had been fired in Washington, another axe fell – Paul Maurice has been fired by the Carolina Hurricanes. Kirk Muller will take his place.

After a couple consecutive losses and a team that’s slid all the way down to 14th in the Eastern Conference, the rumours had been swirling. They sit with a four point lead over the last place Islanders….who have four games in hand on them. The situation is pretty bleak, and something had to change.

Still, it wasn’t an easy decision for ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford – as Darren Dreger tweeted, the two have been long-time friends.

This is the second time Carolina has let Maurice go, who’s compiled a 384-391-145 record behind the bench for them in 920 games. His career record currently sits at 460-457-167.

His replacement Kirk Muller has seen a seriously rapid ascent since he took to coaching in 2005. After starting with the Queen’s University Golden Gaels in his hometown of Kingston and serving on a couple international coaching squads that summer, he was was named an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens in 2006.

After a few years there he took over as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL and coached them to a 1st place conference finish in the regular season. It was only a matter of time until someone offered him the chance to run a club at the top level.

The Hurricanes won the race, and here we are.

The Maurice-for-Miller swap leaves us with one (widely-shared on Twitter) fact: all the sudden the longest-tenured coach in the Southeast Division is Guy Boucher. Now that’s some serious turnover.