Skip to content

Columnist: Jets need to give head coach extension, or fire him

May 29, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT

Claude Noel Getty Images

Back on May 1, after the Winnipeg Jets had missed the playoffs for the second straight time in their new city, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was non-committal when asked about a contract extension for head coach Claude Noel, whose three-year deal has one year left on it.

Almost a month later, there’s still no news on that front, and that has Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gary Lawless calling for Noel to either get an extension or start looking for a new job.

Coaches in the last year of a contract are always in danger of being tuned out and it’s not unfair to imagine this group doing just that to Noel the first time they hit a skid.

The Jets are only effective when they play the way Noel wants, but it’s hard work that drives his scheme. Physical and mental efforts requiring daily commitment. This group hasn’t shown the willingness to provide this mindset each and every day.

Some days they do and some days they don’t. A coach without the appearance of management’s backing only gives them an easy excuse or way out at the first sign of heavy lifting.

It’s possible the Jets bring back Noel without an extension, despite the above arguments against. If the season starts well, an extension could be granted then.

It’s also possible they hire a new bench boss, like former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

The Jets could even be stalling in the event (unlikely, we’d say) that Sharks coach Todd McLellan or Chicago’s Joel Quenneville becomes available.

The future of Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett is up in the air, too.

But we’ll give the last word to Lawless:

Putting a $500,000-a-year coach in a room with every player making more money — and some as much as ten times more per season — is a difficult enough assignment. Leaving him unarmed without any security is like slapping meat cologne on him and throwing him in a cage with a pride of lions. They’ll tear him apart.

  1. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    If the following is really the case; “The Jets are only effective when they play the way Noel wants, but it’s hard work that drives his scheme. Physical and mental efforts requiring daily commitment. This group hasn’t shown the willingness to provide this mindset each and every day.” Then it’s time for the GM start spring cleaning in the dressing room. Every coach has to be demanding, and if the players are not committed, then screw them. Keep those committed to the team’s success.

    • blackfoot11 - May 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Agreed. Noel is a hell of a coach.

  2. JoeAvg - May 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    If the group hasn’t shown any willingness to work hard then there’s your main problem right there.

  3. hockeyflow33 - May 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I never understood this argument because coaches can fired at any time so why would his contract length matter?

    The pay scale isn’t a good comparison because that’s how it is in every sport.

    Seems like the writer isn’t all too familiar with sports.

  4. frankiesweep - May 30, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Nobody could win in Winnipeg… Doesn’t matter who they have as coach.. Never going to get any players wanting to play there.

  5. scrouch - May 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    You need to stop taking opinion pieces by Lawless and making them out to be news stories. They’re just his opinion and more often than not he’s incorrect.

    The new GM is finally going to be able to clear out a lot of the guys who won’t consistently play the way Noel wants. Everyone knows they have personnel issues left over from Atlanta. The team is still playing with basically one line plus Kane and nearly made the playoffs when most people had them projected to finish at the bottom of the league. The main area of concern with coaching is their powerplay. The PK was quite good by the end of the season but the PP was just brutal.

Featured video

Chances Blue Jackets bounce back?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Backes (3158)
  2. T. Oshie (2513)
  3. M. Duchene (2468)
  4. B. Bishop (2269)
  5. S. Mason (2228)