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Report: Winnipeg chooses Claude Noel as their new head coach

Jun 23, 2011, 1:36 PM EDT

Claude Noel, Chris Clark, Derek Brassard AP

The hockey world still doesn’t know what the new Winnipeg team will be called, but they’re getting just about every other base covered. True North Sports and Entertainment reached the 13,000 season tickets sold mark in a blink of an eye, named Kevin Cheveldayoff their new general manager and reportedly chose Claude Noel as their new head coach today.

Noel should be familiar to Winnipeg hockey fans after spending one season as the head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. He also spent four seasons as the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals and was an assistant coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets for three years. Noel had a brief stint as interim head coach of the Blue Jackets, coaching 24 games after Ken Hitchcock was fired in 2010.

It could be a challenging first year for Noel and the Winnipeg Whatevers. They’ll remain in the Southeast Division this season, likely putting a great amount of strain on the team during road trips. The former Atlanta Thrashers roster was in a transition, too, so it’s not as if he will enjoy an overwhelming amount of talent. (Unless, of course, Cheveldayoff re-makes the team with some star free agents.)

There are some rumors that the team name might finally be revealed during draft weekend, so stay tuned for that news and more.

  1. gerkman - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    I would hope the team name would be announced before draft weekend. Kind of awkward to announce Player A drafted by Winnipeg Fill in the Blank not to mention the podium meetings with no jersey

    Would think it would be a great time to start marketing the new name

    • hystoracle - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      They have 1 1/2 days to get that accomplished. Otherwise , it’s Winnipeg Whatevers and Player A is getting a generic NHL jersey. — I guess you could always give them a thrashers jersey since it is technically still the same franchise.

  2. ironhawk - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    They’ve brought a lot of the Moose’s employees over. Training staff, now the head coach, maybe even the name. They should have just upgraded the Manitoba Moose to the NHL.

  3. cannonblast14 - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:04 PM


  4. trbowman - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Good call imo, I think he’ll be successful for Winnipeg.

    I’m fully expecting Winnpeg to announce the name on draft day. If they don’t, that’s just dumb.

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