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Jeff Daniels Out As Charlotte Checkers Head Coach

Hurricanes GM Ron Francis seeks a new direction with the team’s top affiliate by parting ways with longtime AHL coach Jeff Daniels.

Longtime AHL head coach Jeff Daniels will not be back as Charlotte’s bench boss after seven years leading the Hurricanes’ top affiliate.
Longtime AHL head coach Jeff Daniels will not be back as Charlotte’s bench boss after seven years leading the Hurricanes’ top affiliate.
Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes announced Thursday that Jeff Daniels would not be back as head coach of the Charlotte Checkers in 2015-16, ending his seven-season run as the Canes’ bench boss for their AHL affiliate.

Daniels has spent the majority of his professional career with the the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise, first joining Hartford’s AHL affiliate in Springfield, Mass., in 1995 and later spending parts of five seasons with the Hurricanes as a player and four more as an assistant coach. That included being one of Peter Laviolette’s assistants on the 2006 Stanley Cup-winning team.

Daniels took over as the Albany River Rats’ head coach in 2008-09 and spent two seasons there until the team moved to Charlotte for the 2010-11 season. In his seven seasons behind the bench in Albany and Charlotte, Daniels reached the playoffs three times, but the team had not won a playoff series since reaching the conference finals in its first season in Charlotte.

In all, Daniels played 425 regular season and 41 playoff games in the NHL — winning a Cup with Pittsburgh in 1992 and reaching the Finals in 2002 with Carolina — and coached nearly 600 total games for Carolina’s AHL affiliates. Here is the release from the team.

Jeff Daniels’ contract will not be renewed for 2015-16

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the contract of Charlotte Checkers Head Coach Jeff Daniels will not be renewed for the 2015-16 season. Daniels had served as the franchise’s American Hockey League head coach for the past seven seasons.

"We appreciate the years of service and hard work that Jeff provided for our organization," said 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 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.

Prior to becoming a head coach on the AHL level, Daniels spent four seasons with the Hurricanes as an assistant coach, helping to guide the team to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006. As a player, Daniels appeared in 425 career NHL regular-season games, winning a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, and helping Carolina reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2002.