Get To Know Kirk Muller
Saturday, 07.02.2011 / 11:07 AM
“I’m really excited.”
With those words his eyes got bigger and you could clearly see that the smile accompanying those eyes was genuine. The enthusiasm was apparent, the expressed joy authentic.
Kirk Muller is your new bench boss for the Milwaukee Admirals, and if his debut press conference was anything to judge him by, there will be a lot of energy in the AHL this year.
For those unfamiliar, Muller captained the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1993 and over the course of a 19-year playing career put together some impressive numbers. After spending the last five seasons as an assistant in Montreal, Muller decided that he would need some head coaching experience to really break into the NHL as a lead horse some day. So it was that he contacted the Predators about the opening in Milwaukee, and now he embarks on a new journey in the Nashville organization.
Both David Poile and assistant general manager Paul Fenton made sure to highlight Muller’s skills as a communicator with his players as well as his leadership roles throughout his playing career. Indeed they are going to lean on him to develop the next generation of Predators players, and communication will be critical both with his charges on the ice, and with the Preds’ front office brass.
The Predators pride themselves on being able to take the talent they draft and make it NHL ready. Certainly the track record has been pretty good thus far, and with the promotion of Lane Lambert to the NHL bench, Muller brings with him a wealth of experience and leadership that will prove invaluable in developing those younger players. Plus, there will be a different opinion and point of view within the organization – one that knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. If you think a long NHL career gives your words weight, imagine what a championship resume adds to that.
In fact, that really is the one other point that felt hammered home: Muller is a winner. He has been there and done that, and can tell everyone what it takes from first-hand experience. Along with Martin Gelinas, the Preds now have two Stanley Cup winners working directly with players in the development cycle. While the expectations are clearly big ones, you can see that his enthusiasm and excitement will match or exceed anything that comes his way.
Milwaukee, you can breathe easy – you have a winner on the way. Here’s to chasing the Calder Cup!