claude-noelThe Winnipeg Jets, who are sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference of the NHL, announced today that they had fired head coach Claude Noel and assistant coach Perry Peam.

They also announced that former NHL coach Paul Maurice will take over from Noel. The 46-year-old Maurice enters the position with a 460-457-167 career coaching record over 14 seasons and making it to the Stanley Cup Final with the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2001-02 campaign.

Maurice previously worked behind the bench with the Hurricanes, the Hartford Whalers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. In November of 2010, he became the 19th overall coach in history to reach 1,000 games and also the youngest to achieve the mark.

Maurice began his NHL coaching career back in 2002 with the Hurricanes. He led the team to the Eastern Conference championship in the 2001/02 season and two Southeast Division titles.

The native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario produced four straight winning seasons between 1998 and 2002 and he became the 10th NHL coach to work 800 games for one club in 2010.

However, Maurice didn’t achieve this with consecutive games since he left Carolina in 2006 and took over as head coach in Toronto for two seasons. His record with the Maple Leafs was 76-66-22. He failed to make the playoffs, though, and was replaced by Ron Wilson in 2008.

Maurice moved to Russia to coach in the KHL with Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the 2012-13 season. He led the team to a record of 27-13-12 in 52 games.

Maurice’s coaching career began in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada though, where he was in charge of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings. His record in Detroit was 86-38-8 and he led them to the OHL Championship in 1994-95 as well as to an appearance at the Memorial Cup.

He played junior hockey with the Windsor Spit fires of the OHL and was selected in the 1985 NHL draft with the 252nd overall pick by the Philadelphia Flyers.

The writing appeared to be on the wall for both Noel and Perry as the Jets are in last place in the Central Division and have lost five consecutive games. However, assistant coaches Pascal Vincent and Charlie Huddy were fortunate enough to keep their jobs.

Winnipeg forward Ollie Jokinen said, “All of us should be embarrassed that we’re at the point where we have to change the coach.”

Noel was hired in 2011 to coach the franchise after it moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta, where the team was known as the Atlanta Thrashers. He had a record of 80-79-18 with Winnipeg in two-and-a-half seasons and the team failed to make the playoffs.

Team captain Andrew Ladd stated that the team was getting stale and general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff needed to shake things up to get the players going. He added that everybody needs to take a good look in the mirror to see how they can improve and help the team make the playoffs.


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