Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Maurice, Jets agree contract talks can wait

Coach will wait for season's end before deciding future with family

  • Print

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 Thursday following his team's practice at the MTS Iceplex that, by mutual agreement, he's still had no discussions with Jets ownership about a contract extension.

And no, he says, it's not because a particularly harsh Winnipeg winter is scaring him off.

'What I like maybe most of all about this group that runs this team is that they have a plan and they're sticking to it. So we agreed to do it a certain way and I'm especially comfortable doing it that way'

-- Paul Maurice

"It's balmy compared to Magnitogorsk," laughed Maurice, referencing the equally inhospitable Russian city where he coached in the KHL. "The climate is not an issue. Living here is not an issue. People have been great."

So why would Maurice prefer to wait until the end of the season to discuss what, if any, future he's going to have with the Jets?

"My first job is not as a head coach. My first job is at some point I have to be a father. I've lived in Russia, I've travelled. You know, the life of a head coach. And my kids have moved into an age that it's really critical this is a group decision. At the end of the day, we'll always do what's best for my family...

"If I'm going to walk in and talk to my family about moving, I want to be there when that happens. They're in school, they have exams, they're part of my team at home. We agreed we would discuss it at the end of the year, if there's anything to discuss. So my kids understand how this is going to work, too."

Maurice said the understanding he had with the Jets ownership last month when he took over from Claude Noel behind the Jets bench was both parties were committing to each other just for the balance of this season and no further discussions would take place until this season ends.

And he didn't expect that to change simply because the Jets got hot since he took over behind the bench and there was an Olympic break that might have afforded the two parties an opportunity to hammer out a longer-term contract.

"What I like maybe most of all about this group that runs this team is that they have a plan and they're sticking to it. So we agreed to do it a certain way and I'm especially comfortable doing it that way," said Maurice. "And then there's the other underlying undercurrent. You go back and take a look at any (coach) who ever signed an extension during the season, I guarantee you their record the next 15 games was terrible...

"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."

Maurice made the comments following another very quick and very spirited Jets practice at the MTS Iceplex, where the Jets returned to the practice ice for the first time on Wednesday following a 10-day break for the Winter Olympics.

Jets forward Mark Scheifele (sick) was absent from practice on Thursday and defenceman Toby Enstrom (lower-body injury) also did not practice for the second day in a row. 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 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.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 21, 2014 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Police speak out on Red River search

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which Jets prospect has the best chance of making NHL team this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google