July 3, 2020

20° C, Overcast

Full Forecast


Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

Jets coach Maurice bought what GM Cheveldayoff was selling

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice, left and General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff before Game 1 of the team's third-round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights.</p>


Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice, left and General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff before Game 1 of the team's third-round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/5/2018 (778 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

LAS VEGAS — Paul Maurice just shook his head when it was mentioned Wednesday how Winnipeg Jets fans are pouring into Las Vegas this week, including several charter aircrafts that have brought the Whiteout down to the desert.

"I think they’re having a great time. It’s its own little story and its own party. So I drive home from the game the other night, it’s almost all residential the way I take home. And there’s three or four cars in front of almost everybody’s house. And they got the TVs on and they’re still showing the highlights. Everybody is having their own little good time with this. And the ones that are fortunate enough to get on a plane to come down, they want to keep it going," said Maurice, who then shared a funny story about his own recent interactions with Jets fans.

"It’s changed. It was ‘Good luck’ at the start, ‘Hey it’s great.’ Now it’s ‘I’m exhausted.’ Not me. It’s every second night, right. They’re in. They’re invested. They’re spending money and emotional capital and if they can get on a plane they’re doing it, too. It’s a great story."

The Jets' head coach said he first got a sense of Winnipeg's passion during his first summer in the city, when he was at Bell MTS Iceplex and saw how many young girls were playing the game. As the father of a young daughter, he was impressed.

"So hockey’s part of that community maybe in a way that we wouldn’t have experienced in any other city that we’ve been. Everybody loves the game," said Maurice.

All of which made him fondly recall his first conversation with Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, right after Claude Noel had been fired and Maurice was brought in to finish out the 2013-14 season.

"I wish I’d taped it, because it was exactly what’s happened. Exactly what’s happened. He told me what the plan was going to be. He said ‘Look, we’re not bringing you in to see if we’re a fit together.' Because I came in on just a half-year contract. He said: ‘We’d like you to put some structure into the game here, we’ve got to make a decision on some veteran players.’ He said: ‘I want to tell you if the relationship continues we’re going to get real young, real fast. We think we have some good players coming. We have confidence in our ability to draft,’" said Maurice.

"So that was pretty close to the entire plan laid out, and it’s never changed. For my part of it, I can’t explain it any better than I remember walking into the room against, I don’t know if it was Phoenix or Arizona at the time, and feeling like I fit in that room. And then when I drive around town, I fit in the town. My family fits there. I don’t have a more eloquent way to say it, other than it feels like home."

Defenceman Ben Chiarot said he'd love to spend some time seeing the sights of Sin City. Just not right now.

"It’s a new market, a new NHL city and there’s lots to do here. But you get that out of your system during the regular season. Playoffs is not a time to be enjoying Vegas," he said Wednesday following the morning skate.

It was much the same in the second round, with the Jets playing four games in Music City against the Nashville Predators.

"It really is just hotel, rink, plane, hotel, rink, plane. And when you’re home, the off days you’re just doing whatever you can to recover. Playoffs are a grind but something we’re learning to enjoy," said Chiarot.

Fellow blue-liner Josh Morrissey said players at this level, and this time of year, show a tremendous amount of discipline both on and off the ice.

"We’re here on a business trip. We’re here for hockey. We’re here for two huge playoff games and that’s all that has really crossed my mind," said Morrissey. "There’s a lot going on but you spend time in the hotel room, go out for dinner with the team like we always do on the road and stick to the same routine that’s been working throughout the whole season."

Jets captain Blake Wheeler apparently thinks there are a lot of TSN channels. He gave a humorous answer Wednesday when asked if he and his teammates are paying attention to the IIHF World Championship currently underway in Denmark.

"A little bit. It seems like the European guys pay more attention to the world championship than maybe we (Americans) do. Being in Canada, it’s on TSN 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 through 10. So, it’s on and it’s fun. We’re (the United States) doing well this year. Having a little bit of diversity through our group is fun, too. When you have the odd matchup, like Finland versus the U.S.A. or whatever it may be, it’s fun to give it back to them," said Wheeler.

He was asked who the "proudest" American in the room is.

"That’s a loaded question. We all have done it, have represented the U.S.A. and take a ton of pride in doing so. I don’t want to single anyone out. We take a lot of pride in doing that in playing for our country," said Wheeler.


Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre

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.

Read full biography


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

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

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

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

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us