Winnipeg, MB, Canada (4E Sports) – After losing five straight games, the Winnipeg Jets have dismissed coach Claude Noel and hired Paul Maurice as their new mentor.
Aside from Noel, the Jets fired assistant coach Perry Pearn was also let go. The Jets are currently last in the Central Division with a 19-23-5 record.
Noel was named coach of the Jets when the organization moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta despite having just 24 games of NHL head coaching experience under his belt as an interim boss for the Columbus Blue Jackets at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.
Despite missing the playoffs in Noel’s first two season, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff continued to lock up the core of the team this past summer.
The Jets have eight players signed through at least the 2015-16 season that count at least $3.9 million against the salary cap but they hovered near the .500 mark until the recent skid.
The Jets had their best record at 10-9-2 in Nov. 15 after clinching their third straight shootout win.
Goal prevention has long been an issue for the Jets, who are tied for 25th in the League in goals against at 3.00 per contest this season. The franchise hasn’t finished above tied for 24th in that category since its only playoff appearance in 2006-07.
Maurice has more than 1,000 games of NHL coaching experience with Hartford/Carolina and Toronto, and most recently coached Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
He led the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002 and then to the Eastern Conference Final in 2009 during a second stint with the organization.