Jets fire Noel; name Maurice new coach

Updated: 1/12 2:10 pm

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Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets have fired head coach Claude Noel and replaced him with Paul Maurice.

The Jets have lost five straight games and sit last in the Central Division with a record of 19-23-5.

Noel had guided Winnipeg to winning seasons in each of its first two years since the franchise moved from Atlanta, but the Jets came up short of a playoff berth both times.

The Jets were 37-35-10 in Noel's first season, then finished 24-21-3 in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. Noel wound up with a mark of 80-79-18.

"It became apparent that things were not trending in the right direction," said Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. "It's the consistency factor. We always questioned ourselves internally -- why .500? Why one ahead and two back?"

Maurice, meanwhile, is back in the NHL after an absence of more than two years. He was fired by the Carolina Hurricanes in November 2011 and spent the 2012-13 season in the Kontinental Hockey League.

The 46-year-old Ontario native owns a career NHL coaching mark of 460-457-167 with Hartford/Carolina (1995-04, 2008-11) and Toronto (2006-08).

"He's battle-hardened and energetic and is chomping at the bit to get back into the NHL," Cheveldayoff added about Maurice.

In his first stint with the Hurricanes, Maurice led the club to a pair of Southeast Division titles and the 2002 Eastern Conference championship. He had two winning seasons in Toronto, but failed to make the playoffs, then took the Hurricanes to the Eastern Conference finals during his second go-round with the club.

The Jets on Sunday also fired assistant coach Perry Pearn.

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