By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
The Winnipeg Jets announced today they have relieved Claude Noel of his duties as Head Coach of the hockey club. The team also announced they have relieved Assistant Coach Perry Pearn of his duties.
The Winnipeg Jets also announced they have hired Paul Maurice as the second Head Coach in franchise history since their move from Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011.
Maurice, 46, has earned a career NHL coaching record of 460-457-167 in 14 seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He won his 400th career NHL game when the Hurricanes defeated the Buffalo Sabres in overtime on Feb. 11, 2010, and on Nov. 28, 2010, he became the 19th coach, and the youngest in history, to coach 1,000 NHL games. In his first head coaching stint with the Hurricanes, Maurice guided Carolina to the 2002 Eastern Conference title and two Southeast Division crowns as well as four consecutive winning seasons from 1998-2002. On March 16, 2010, he became just the 10th coach in NHL history to spend more than 800 games behind the bench for one franchise.
Prior to re-joining the Hurricanes, the Sault Ste. Marie, ON native collected a record of 76-66-22 during two full seasons as Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2006-08. Maurice earned a career-high in wins with Toronto during the 2006-07 season, leading the Maple Leafs to 40 victories, and recording his 300th NHL victory on March 6, 2007.
Most recently, Maurice spent the 2012-13 season as Head Coach of Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the KHL. After 52 games, the club earned a 27-13-12 record and 0.635 winning percentage.
Prior to moving to the NHL level during the summer of 1995 as an Assistant Coach with the Whalers, Maurice spent two seasons as Head Coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Detroit Jr. Red Wings. While in Detroit, he compiled a regular-season record of 86-38-8 and led the team to the 1995 OHL Championship and an appearance in the Memorial Cup in Kamloops, B.C. That season, he finished second in voting to Guelph’s Craig Hartsburg for the Matt Leyden Trophy, which is annually awarded to the OHL’s Coach of the Year.
Maurice played his junior hockey with the OHL’s Windsor Spit fires (1984-1988). He was Philadelphia’s 12th choice, 252nd overall, in the 1985 NHL entry draft. Maurice had his career cut short due to an eye injury, and began coaching as an assistant with the Jr. Red Wings shortly thereafter.
(With files from the Winnipeg Jets)