The Carolina Hurricanes announced today that Jeff Daniels, the head coach of their AHL team Charlotte Checkers, will not return for the 2015-2016 season. Daniels had been the Checkers coach for the past seven seasons.
Via their press release:
"Daniels registered a 268-225-51 record in seven seasons as head coach for Carolina’s top minor-league affiliates. He guided the Checkers to the Eastern Conference Final in 2010-11, the deepest Calder Cup Playoff run for the franchise’s AHL affiliate since the 1996-97 Springfield Falcons. Charlotte failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2014-15, going 31-38-6-1 to finish 13th in the Western Conference."
“We appreciate the years of service and hard work that Jeff provided for our organization,” said Hurricanes vice president and general manager Ron Francis. “His contract expires at the end of June, and we will now begin the process of finding a new head coach for the Checkers.”
Daniels has been involved with the Hurricanes franchise since 1995, all the way back to the days of the Hartford Whalers. He played for the AHL affiliates of Hartford and Carolina, respectively, and played five seasons with the Hurricanes.
In his career, Daniels played in over 400 NHL games and has coached nearly 600 with a Hurricanes affiliate. He has two Stanley Cups; one as a Hurricanes coach an another as a player with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992.
Along with his playing career, Daniels was the head coach of the AHL Albany River Rats (the former Hurricanes affiliate) along with being an assistant Hurricanes coach in 2006 when the team won their only Stanley Cup.
In seven seasons as a coach with the Checkers, Daniels posted a record of 268-225-51. The Checkers did not make the AHL playoffs this past season, going 31-38-6-1 which was 13th place in the Western Conference. They were second to last in points in their division with 69, finishing only ahead of the 50 point Iowa Wild. In their conference they also finished ahead of the Rochester Americans, who only had 64 points. They also had more points than the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Norfolk Admirals from the eastern conference, who each had 64 points respectively.
The Hurricanes have added a lot of young talent from the Checkers in recent years, and Daniels will certainly garner interest from other teams in the AHL and maybe even NHL teams looking for assistant coaches. The Checkers will now begin a search for their new head coach as they hope for a better season in 2015-2016.