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Carolina Hurricanes Hire Mike Bales as New Goaltending Coach

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The former NHLer joins the Canes after four years as Pens’ goaltending coach.

Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

It may not have been the blockbuster deal we were waiting for, but the Carolina Hurricanes made news today as they settled on a replacement for David Marcoux; Mike Bales will take on the goaltending coach position this season after four years in the same role with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Bales brings a championship pedigree and some fresh ideas to Carolina. His work with Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury in Pittsburgh has helped bring back-to-back Stanley Cups to the Penguins, with both combining for a .929 save percentage and five shutouts this season. Bales also worked as a goaltending scout for the Penguins, helping to develop Murray into their new #1 goalie, and could be particularly helpful in assisting Scott Darling in his transition to being a regular starter.

Certainly, the most pressing area the Hurricanes needed to focus on in the offseason was their goaltending. With Darling signed and a new face coaching the guys in the crease, suffice it to say the pieces are in place for improved numbers in the Hurricanes net next season.

The press release from the team follows below.

‘CANES HIRE MIKE BALES AS GOALTENDING COACH

Former NHL goalie served in same position for Penguins’ back-to-back titles

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with Mike Bales to become its new goaltending coach.

“Mike has a proven history of success as a goaltending coach with the Penguins, winning back-to-back Stanley Cups,” said Francis. “Based on our research, we are confident that he is someone our goalies and coaching staff will enjoy working with, and we’re thrilled to have him in our organization.”

Bales, 45, has served as goaltending coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins for the past four seasons. Under his tutelage, Pittsburgh goaltenders combined for a 2.19 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and five shutouts during the Penguins’ run to their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship in 2017. Prior to being promoted to goaltending coach, Bales served as the Penguins’ goaltending development coach and scout from 2011-13, helping to scout, draft and develop Matt Murray, who posted 15 wins as a rookie during Pittsburgh’s 2016 Stanley Cup run. A Penguins netminder has posted at least 30 wins during the regular season in each of Bales’ four seasons as goaltending coach, with Marc-Andre Fleury earning Team MVP honors and a spot in the NHL All-Star Game in 2014-15, posting 34 wins and a franchise-record 10 shutouts.

A native of Prince Albert, Sask., Bales played professionally as a goaltender for 15 seasons before beginning his coaching career, appearing in 23 NHL games with Boston and Ottawa. He also spent time in the American Hockey League (AHL), International Hockey League (IHL) and European leagues in Germany, Sweden and Northern Ireland. Prior to turning professional, he played three seasons of collegiate hockey for Ohio State.