Paul Maurice says he loves the Winnipeg Jets and the Jets obviously love Maurice, judging by the club’s 9-3-1 record since he took over last month as the team’s head coach.
But for all the mutual love, Maurice said today that, by mutual agreement, he’s still had no discussions with the team about a contract extension.
"We had a really, really clear understanding when I took the job about how this would progress — there won’t be a contract discussion until this entire season is over," Maurice told reporters following his team’s practice at MTS Iceplex. "And that was understanding going in that we both wanted...
"From my point of view, I’ve enjoyed every minute of being here. I like this group — it’s part of the reason why I wanted to coach this team and I took this job. But I’m not waiting after each win for someone to knock on my door — that’s not the way it’s going to go.
"So there’s really no need to check in on that every week because we’re not going to surprise you with something in two or three weeks where we say we changed our minds. That understanding was important for both of us. So it is as it was laid out from the beginning."
There’d been some speculation that the Jets and Maurice might use the Olympic break to work out an arrangement something more permanent than Maurice’s current deal, which has him signed to coach the Jets until the end of the season but no longer.
Maurice made the comments following another very quick and very spirited Jets practice at Iceplex, where the Jets began practicing again on Wednesday following a 10-day break for the Winter Olympics.
Jets forward Mark Scheifele was absent from practice today — he called in sick — and defenceman Toby Enstrom (lower body injury) also did not practice for the second day in a row. But forward Devin Setoguchi (elbow) did return to practice — albeit while wearing a no contact jersey — after missing Wednesday’s session.
Jets Olympians Michael Frolik and Ondrej Pavelec — whose Czech team was eliminated earlier this week — are now en route back to Winnipeg, a club spokesman said. Winnipeg’s other two Olympians — Olli Jokinen and Blake Wheeler — are both still in Sochi playing for Finland and the U.S. respectively.