Kirk Christopher Muller (born February 8, 1966) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey winger who played in the National Hockey League for 19 seasons from 1984–85 until 2002–03. He was also the head coach of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes from 2011 to 2014. He was an associate coach with the Montreal Canadiens from 2016 to 2021, where he previously served as assistant coach from 2006 to 2011.
Muller in 2008
February 8, 1966|
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)|
New Jersey Devils|
New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs
2nd overall, 1984|
New Jersey Devils
Muller started his junior career with the Kingston Canadians of the Ontario Hockey League, but his most successful junior seasons were with the Guelph Platers. There was a dispute in 1984 between the Platers and the Canadian Olympic Team, who wanted Muller to play with them at the 1984 Winter Olympics. The Platers owner was upset over losing Muller for so much time, but eventually they came to an agreement and Muller played in the Olympics. He was drafted second overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft behind Mario Lemieux. "Captain Kirk" was the heart and soul of the Devils franchise, with his intensity and strong two-way play. However, New Jersey never became a serious Stanley Cup contender while Muller was with them, and he was traded along with Roland Melanson to the Montreal Canadiens for Stéphane Richer and Tom Chorske on September 20, 1991.
Muller quickly became a fan favourite in Montreal, and he helped them win the Stanley Cup in 1993. He was traded to the New York Islanders during the 1994–95 NHL season. Initially, he was reluctant to report to the Islanders, then played a handful of games in an uninterested manner before team management decided that his poor attitude outweighed his potential contributions on the ice and barred him from the team. Eventually, the Islanders recalled Muller, but he refused to report, freeing the Islanders from their contractual obligations to pay him. Ultimately, Muller was traded at a discount to the Toronto Maple Leafs, in a three team trade that saw Muller and Don Beaupre go to the Maple Leafs, Martin Straka, Ken Belanger and the rights to Bryan Berard go to the Islanders while Damian Rhodes and the rights to Wade Redden went to the Ottawa Senators. Muller had his last 20 goal season with the Maple Leafs the next season, but he was traded to the Florida Panthers as the Leafs fell out of the playoff picture.
Muller struggled in Florida, scoring just four goals in the whole 1998–99 NHL season. His last break came when he signed with the Dallas Stars in the middle of the 1999–2000 season. Even though his scoring touch of old almost completely evaporated, he still managed to be a strong role player with the Stars for four seasons and was part of the "grumpy old men" line that included Mike Keane and John MacLean. He retired at the end of the 2002–03 season.
Muller began his coaching career with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in his hometown of Kingston. During 2005-06, Muller's Golden Gaels posted an 8-13-1-2 record in the Ontario University Athletics Conference.
Muller also held the title of assistant coach to Marc Habscheid with Team Canada, winning the gold medal at the 2005 Lotto Cup Tournament in Slovakia. In March 2006, he served as assistant coach to Greg Gilbert at the Under-18 World Championship.
On June 27, 2011, the Nashville Predators announced that Muller had been hired as the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. On November 28, 2011, Muller became coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, taking over for Paul Maurice. On May 5, 2014, Muller was relieved of his coaching duties by the Carolina Hurricanes. On May 13, 2014, Muller was signed by the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach.
On June 2, 2016, the Montreal Canadiens rehired Muller as an associate coach.
- New Jersey Devils franchise record for points in a single game (6 on Oct. 29, 1986)
- New Jersey Devils franchise record for assists in a single game (5 on Mar. 25, 1987)
- New Jersey Devils franchise record for points by a centre in a single season (94, 1987–88)
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|1984–85||New Jersey Devils||NHL||80||17||37||54||69||—||—||—||—||—|
|1985–86||New Jersey Devils||NHL||77||25||41||66||45||—||—||—||—||—|
|1986–87||New Jersey Devils||NHL||79||26||50||76||75||—||—||—||—||—|
|1987–88||New Jersey Devils||NHL||80||37||57||94||114||20||4||8||12||37|
|1988–89||New Jersey Devils||NHL||80||31||43||74||119||—||—||—||—||—|
|1989–90||New Jersey Devils||NHL||80||30||56||86||74||6||1||3||4||11|
|1990–91||New Jersey Devils||NHL||80||19||51||70||76||7||0||2||2||10|
|1994–95||New York Islanders||NHL||12||3||5||8||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||New York Islanders||NHL||15||4||3||7||15||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||36||9||16||25||42||6||3||2||5||0|
|1996–97||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||66||20||17||37||85||—||—||—||—||—|
Head coaching recordEdit
|CAR||2011–12||57||25||20||12||(62)||5th in Southeast||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|CAR||2012–13||48||19||25||4||42||3rd in Southeast||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|CAR||2013–14||82||36||35||11||83||7th in Metropolitan||—||—||Missed playoffs|
- "Muller sent packing". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. November 13, 1995. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- "Traded Leaf Muller eyes title in Florida". Las Vegas Sun. March 19, 1997. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "Kirk Muller - Assistant Coach". nhl.com. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- "Milwaukee Admirals name Kirk Muller coach". nhl.com. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- TSN.ca staff (November 28, 2011). "Hurricanes replace head coach Maurice with Muller". TSN.ca. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- "Hurricanes fire coach Kirk Muller". ESPN. Associated Press. May 7, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "Kirk Muller Joins Blues as Assistant Coach". NHL.com. May 13, 2014.
- "Muller de retour à Montréal". TVA Sports. June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- "Julien heads home after stent procedure, Muller to coach Canadiens". NHL.com. August 13, 2020. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
- "Claude Julien and Kirk Muller relieved of their coaching duties". NHL.com. February 24, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
- Official website
- Total Hockey (Second Edition), Editor - Dan Diamond, ISBN 1-892129-85-X
|Awards and achievements|
| Jack Ferguson Award
| New Jersey Devils first round draft pick
| New Jersey Devils captain
| Montreal Canadiens captain
| Head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes