Winnipeg Jets sign Maurice, Cheveldayoff to extensions
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Winnipeg Jets co-owner Mark Chipman had no doubt general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and coach Paul Maurice deserved the contract extensions that were announced Thursday.
The team has only made the playoffs once since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011 with Cheveldayoff as a rookie NHL GM. Maurice, who replaced Claude Noel in January 2014, was behind the bench for the first-round sweep at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks in 2015.
”I’m just very happy that we can give Kevin and Paul the opportunity to move this group forward,” Chipman said. ”They deserve that and I’m excited to watch it move on from here.”
Chipman wouldn’t reveal the length of the contracts, but described Maurice’s as ”medium” term and Cheveldayoff’s as longer. Both were entering the final year of their contracts.
”(Cheveldayoff) is exactly what we thought we were hiring six years ago,” Chipman said. ”He has that rare combination of a high degree of competence and a very high degree of character.:
Maurice has a 136-112-33 record with the Jets. When asked if extending his contract was rewarding mediocre results, Chipman said it depends on how results are quantified.
”I don’t think he’s been mediocre at all,” Chipman said. ”I think he’s done a fine job with a team that’s been growing. He’s had the ability to embrace young players, which isn’t easy.”
Both Maurice, 50, and Cheveldayoff, 47, talked about appreciating the ”faith” ownership gave them with the new deals.
”Fortunately for me, I’ve had the faith and confidence and commitment (from ownership) to make decisions that are in the best short-, medium- and long-term interest of this franchise,” Cheveldayoff said.
But when that work might pay off with a contending team remains to be seen.
”We’re going to say sooner rather than later,” Maurice said. ”We’re going to be better than we were last year.”