Jets add assistants to complete coaching staff


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The Winnipeg Jets roster remains a work in progress. But the club’s coaching staff is complete.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/07/2022 (313 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Winnipeg Jets roster remains a work in progress. But the club’s coaching staff is complete.

Marty Johnston and Brad Lauer were hired Thursday to work as assistants alongside new bench boss Rick Bowness and his associate, Scott Arniel.

Johnston, 43, is no stranger to the organization. The Ontario product has been an assistant with the Manitoba Moose for the past five years, and briefly came up to the big club last year when associate coach Jamie Kompon was away from the team following the death of his father.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files Former Manitoba Moose assistant coach Marty Johnston has been promoted to assistant coach with the Winnipeg Jets.

As a player, Johnston won the Memorial Cup in 1997 with Hull of the QMJHL, then played several seasons in the ECHL and AHL before ending his pro career overseas.

Lauer, 55, comes over from the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings where he has been head coach for the last four years, guiding the squad to the league championship this past season. He’s previously served as an NHL assistant with the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning between 2009 and 2018.

Hailing from Saskatchewan, he played 17 years of pro hockey, including parts of nine in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa. He was rumoured to be a candidate to work alongside Winnipeg’s top target, Barry Trotz, who ultimately turned the job down and has decided to step away from the game for at least one year to spend time with family.

Johnston and Lauer take over the jobs previously held by Kompon and Charlie Huddy, who were not retained along with interim coach Dave Lowry. Goalie coach Wade Flaherty and video coach Matt Prefontaine continue in thier roles.

Nolan Baumgartner joins the Moose to take over the assistant coaching spot vacated by Johnston. The 46-year-old from Calgary, who spent the past five years as an assistant with the Vancouver Canucks, will work with returning Moose head coach Mark Morrisson and assistant Eric Dubois.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Baumgartner, who played 17 years of pro hockey including seven with the Moose. He ranks second all time in assists (144), third in games played (385) and sixth in points (185).

The Moose have also hired Alex Matheson as a video coach. The 31-year-old has worked in that capacity for the past three years with his hometown University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. He takes over for Richard Bue.

APPLETON ARBITRATION SET: The Jets and restricted free agent forward Mason Appleton have a date with an arbitrator. A hearing has been set for Aug. 11 between the club and player, provided a new contract can’t be worked out by then. If necessary, the third party would hear arguments from both sides, then issue a deal that is binding.

Appleton, 26, had 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 68 games split between Seattle and Winnipeg last year. He’s coming off a two-year deal that paid him US $900,000 per season.

MOOSE ARE LOOSE: The 2022-23 AHL schedule was released Thursday, with the Moose opening the 72-game campaign at home on Saturday Oct. 15 against the Rockford IceHogs. Puck drop at Canada Life Centre is 2 p.m.

Manitoba closes out the regular season on April 16 in Chicago against the Wolves.

As usual, it’s a heavy weekend schedule. The Moose will play 27 of 36 home games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or holidays, including 17 matinees.

The longest homestand is eight games, which will happen on two occasions (Feb. 15 – March 5 and March 22 – Apr. 7). The longest road trip of seven games in sandwiched in between (March 7-19).

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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