By Michael Russo (The Athletic)

SUNRISE, Fla. — Paul Maurice is self-deprecating about his ripe age of 56 and how he’s been around “forever.” The other night after his Florida Panthers completed a four-game sweep of his old Carolina Hurricanes, Maurice quipped that a 106-year-old man being honored for his military service looked better than he did.

But in reality, this may be the only annoying thing about the coaching lifer who actually seems to enjoy holding court with reporters and putting on a daily show with non-cliches and actual information in a smart, folksy, professorial manner.

While the rest of us keep getting older and actually looking older, it’s almost obnoxious how Maurice doesn’t look like he’s aged at all since he last guided a team into a Stanley Cup Final 21 years ago.

That was 2002 when Maurice was in his seventh of nine years during the first of two stints with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes organization. But these two decades that have gone by give Maurice a unique perspective on how hard it is to get four victories away from a Stanley Cup.

And it’s why Maurice is enjoying every minute of coaching this stunning Panthers team that will face off against the Vegas Golden Knights or Dallas Stars starting June 3.

Maurice is in his 25th year as an NHL head coach. He ranks fourth in NHL history and first amongst active coaches with 1,767 regular-season games. He ranks sixth in NHL history and second amongst active coaches with 817 regular-season wins.

Click here to continue reading on The Athletic.