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Noel Fired. Maurice Moves In. It Might be Time to Gut This Thing.

On Sunday morning, the Winnipeg Jets fired head coach Claude Noel and assistant Perry Pearn. Was anyone surprised?

The Jets¬†¬†have lost five straight games, are 19-23-5, in last place in the Central Division and 12th in the West. As we suggested after Saturday night’s 6-3 home loss to the mediocre Columbus Blue Jackets, changes were going to be made. Nobody was happy. Something had to give.

Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Ondrej Pavelec, Dustin Byfuglien and on and on have been terrible for weeks. They aren’t individually terrible every night, but they are so inconsistently good/bad, that it’s hard to recall the moments when they were at the top of their games.

So the coach gets fired. That’s the way it works. He didn’t deserve to get fired. I would even suggest that he was getting more out of a bad team than many other coaches would get, but he was be fired because there was nobody else to be fired.

Because of the salary cap, making trades in the NHL is so difficult these days the only thing I’m looking forward to at the trade deadline is all those TSN stars with their beautiful coifs talking nonsense and twittling their thumbs for eight hours. Sure, there will be some deadline deals, but as is the norm in the salary capped NHL, most of the “major” deals will be done well before deadline day.

As much as the radio talkers wanted the Jets to make a big trade, there is no trade to be made. Our $5 million players aren’t playing very well and if you were a good team, fighting for a run at the Cup, would you want Blake Wheeler, or Evander Kane or Dustin Byfuglien if you actually had to give something of value back? Not likely. Sure, there is a sucker born every minute but I don’t think Chevy has found him yet.

So that means, fire the coach. The guy who was hired to replace Noel is not in for an easy time.

Paul Maurice.

Paul Maurice.

Sure the Jets should turn it around for a few games. That’s usually what happens when a new coach arrives in town. For a few games, the players step it up and play with a little more emotion but you can’t make chicken salad… as they say. We here in Winnipeg often forget that the core of the Jets is still the lousy Atlanta Thrashers. Paul Maurice isn’t taking over the Boston Bruins. The Jets are what they’ve always been: An 11th- or 12th-place team.

At some point, Cheveldayoff will be able to make a deal for draft picks and the Jets will slowly get better. Obviously, based on the play of Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele, the Jets GM and his scouting staff are pretty good at assessing young talent.

Regardless, for the next 35 games it’s little more than exhibition hockey (the Jets would probably have to go 26-9 to make the playoffs) in Winnipeg and the players are auditioning for next season.

So is Maurice, one supposes.

Of course, if things don’t get better, it might become time for Chevy to gut this thing.

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