The Winnipeg Jets are pleased to announce today they have agreed to terms with Head Coach Claude Noel on a contract extension.
"It's a process of continuing to grow as a group," said GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on Monday. "I think that it's something that we discussed and the term wasn't something we focused on too dramatically. When I had my conversations with Claude, it was about continuing the process moving forward. I don't know that there's a magical term, one year, two years, five year exceed different things from different situations and this is the right fit for us we felt going forward."
Noel, 57, enters his third season as Head Coach of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club. In his two seasons with the club, Noel has earned a 61-56-13 record after 130 games played. This past season, Noel earned a 24-21-0-3 record in his second year as Head Coach of the Jets for an improved 0.531 winning percentage. Under Noel’s direction, the Jets finished four points shy of the post season.
"I'm extremely happy to get extended because it's an opportunity to continue along the process of what we started here," said Noel during a conference call, Monday afternoon. "Our goals remain the same, we understand the need to get into the playoffs and that's what we're looking to to continue to create here. We're looking to take a step further in that direction and hopefully get there this upcoming season."
Prior to his move to Winnipeg, the Kirkland Lake, ON native spent three seasons behind the bench with the Columbus Blue Jackets as an Assistant Coach before joining the Manitoba Moose in 2010. In his third year with the Blue Jackets, Noel spent most of the season as an Assistant Coach before taking over from Ken Hitchcock as interim Head Coach on February 3, 2010. The Blue Jackets finished the 2009-10 season with a record of 10-8-4-2 under the guidance of Noel. During his three years with the club, the Blue Jackets compiled a record of 107-102-15-22 in 246 games.
Before his time with the Blue Jackets, Noel spent four seasons as Head Coach of the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals, affiliate of the Nashville Predators. During that time, he led the club to a 183-94-12-31 regular season record, three 100-point seasons and two West Division titles. During the 2003-04 season, the club compiled a 46-24-7-3 record and went 16-6 in the playoffs en route to capturing the organization’s first-ever Calder Cup Championship. Noel was subsequently honoured with the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year.
Noel made his coaching debut in the ECHL with the Roanoke Valley Rebels in 1990-91 and served as the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the ECHL’s Dayton Bombers from 1991-93. In 1993, he joined the Kalamazoo Wings (later the Michigan K-Wings), the International Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars, as an Assistant Coach. He succeeded then coach, Ken Hitchcock, behind the bench during the 1995-96 season and served in that capacity through the 1997-98 campaign. From 1998-02, he was an Assistant Coach with the Milwaukee Admirals and in 2002-03 was named ECHL Coach of the Year with the Toledo Storm before returning to Milwaukee as Head Coach prior to the 2003-04 season.