Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jets Sign Coach Paul Maurice, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to Contract Extensions

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jets Sign Coach Paul Maurice, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to Contract Extensions

Article excerpt

Jets extend coach Maurice, GM Cheveldayoff

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WINNIPEG - Jets co-owner Mark Chipman had no doubt general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and head coach Paul Maurice deserved their multi-year 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 at a news conference. "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.

"We landed that in Kevin on Day 1 and he hasn't disappointed since the day we hired him."

Maurice, meanwhile, has compiled 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."

The Jets' mantra since the team moved from Atlanta has been to draft and develop players.

Last season, they scored 249 goals (tied for sixth in the NHL) but their 256 goals against was 27th of the 30 teams. They also got hit by 355 man games lost to injuries. The end result was a ninth-place finish (40-35-7) in the Western Conference, seven points behind the Nashville Predators for the final wild-card spot.

But there were bright spots such as rookie forward Patrik Laine. He had 36 goals and 64 points in 73 games and was a Calder Trophy finalist.

Three of his teammates also went over the 60-point mark: Mark Scheifele (82), captain Blake Wheeler (74) and Nikolai Ehlers (64). …

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