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Mike Bales resigns as Hurricanes goaltending coach

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The Canes will have a new goalie whisperer next season after a surprise departure.

Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes goaltending coach Mike Bales has resigned his position and will not return to the team next season, the Hurricanes announced in a brief statement Wednesday morning.

No reason was given for Bales’ departure, which comes five days before the two-year anniversary of his hiring from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Multiple reports, including from Joe Yerdon of The Athletic and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, indicate that Bales is in line to be named the next goaltending coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

Bales earned plaudits from most observers for his handling of the Hurricanes’ crease this past season. Both Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney credited Bales with his management of a goalie-by-committee system, and coach Rod Brind’Amour regularly told the media that he deferred to Bales to identify the starting goaltender for a given night’s game.

Bales was the only remaining member of the coaching staff who was signed by former general manager Ron Francis, joining the team before Francis departed and Don Waddell took his place as general manager. Brind’Amour and assistant coaches Dean Chynoweth and Jeff Daniels remain under contract for next season, and a source tells North State Journal’s Cory Lavalette that Bales also had one year remaining on his contract.

The team says that they will begin a search for a new goaltending coach immediately. The release, brief as it is, is below.

MIKE BALES RESIGNS AS GOALTENDING COACH

Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that Mike Bales has resigned his position as goaltending coach. The team will immediately begin its search for a new goaltending coach.

Bales, 47, spent two seasons with the Hurricanes as goaltending coach. In his two seasons with the team, Carolina earned an 82-64-18 record.