After nine seasons as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, Paul Maurice announced his resignation, citing “the law of diminishing returns” as the reason for his resignation.
Before Friday night’s home game against the Washington Capitals, assistant coach Dave Lowry has volunteered to serve as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
“If you’ll allow me some arrogance, I feel I’m better positioned than anyone to know that they need a new voice,” Maurice said. “They haven’t quit on me. But they need somebody that can get them to that next place.”
Maurice was in his seventh season as the Jets’ head coach, with a 315-223-62 record. With 31 points in 28 games, the Jets are presently seventh in the Central Division. Their.554 points per possession percentage ranks eighth in the Western Conference.
According to ESPN, the Jets players were taken aback by Maurice’s decision, and his meeting with them on Friday morning left them stunned.
Maurice stated that he made the decision to resign “100%” on his own. Maurice’s departure from the Winnipeg Jets was “we came to an agreement,” according to general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who added that “he’s going to be well taken care of” moving forward. Maurice’s contract has one more year left on it, with a salary of roughly $3 million.
Last summer, Maurice claimed he talked to Jets management and ownership about whether he was the ideal coach for the organisation. He considered leaving the position on a handful of occasions this season, but the Jets won a few games to deter him from doing so.
He stated, “This is a far longer runway on this than a loss to Buffalo.”
Maurice stated that the last two seasons, during which the NHL dealt with the COVID-19 outbreak, were emotionally draining for him as well, particularly last season, when games in Canada were played without people in the stands.
“I didn’t enjoy it. And that’s the very first time I could say I didn’t enjoy coming to the rink. I thought that maybe it was all of what was going on,” he said. “If you lose some of that passion for the game, you can still be good, but you can’t be as good as you should be. That’s how I feel I am.”
The Jets are 15th in terms of goals per game (2.96) and 13th in terms of goals against per game (2.75), both down from previous season.
The Jets made the playoffs in five of their first eight seasons under Maurice, but only had one big postseason run in 2017-18, when they reached the Western Conference finals. Last season, Winnipeg was eliminated in the second round of the all-Canadian North Division by the Montreal Canadiens. The Jets have a 43.4 percent probability of making the playoffs this season, according to Money Puck.
He said, “I think I pushed that rock pretty far up that mountain, and I’m really comfortable where I handed it off.”
Maurice, 54, has coached 1,684 NHL games for the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Toronto Maple Leafs, the fourth-most in NHL history. He has 755 career wins and is #1 in career losses (680).
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