Coach Claude Noel signed a one-year contract extension with the Winnipeg Jets on Monday after a season in which the team failed to make the playoffs.
The Jets went 24-21-3 and finished ninth in the Eastern Conference, four points behind the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot.
Noel is entering his third season with the team. He coached the Jets to a 37-35-10 record in 2011-12, the club’s first season in Winnipeg after relocating from Atlanta.
Before moving to Winnipeg, Noel spent four seasons in Columbus as an assistant and was head coach for the final 24 games of the 2009-10 season after Ken Hitchcock was fired.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said on Monday that the rest of the coaching staff will also be offered job security.
”You deal with what’s right in front of you, and the coaching staff now has got an extension to move forward beyond this season,” Cheveldayoff said. ”That’s something that we all feel comfortable with.”
Noel is now under contract through the 2014-15 NHL season. Neither Cheveldayoff nor Noel expressed any concern that the extension is only for one year.
”The term really doesn’t determine how you do that job,” Noel said Monday during a conference call. ”For me, the extension is great.
”Would you rather have a longer term? I think this is fine.”
The Jets franchise hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2006-07 season, when the Thrashers were swept by the New York Rangers.
”I clearly see that we have to make the playoffs, but it’s not easy to make the playoffs,” Noel said.