In shocking news Friday morning, Paul Maurice resigns as the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets. Dave Lowry will assume the head coaching position on an interim basis.
— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) December 17, 2021
Paul Maurice Resigns, Dave Lowry Assumes Coaching Duties
Paul Maurice was in his ninth season of coaching the Winnipeg Jets. His time with the Jets has been successful, with an overall record of 315-223-62. Under Maurice, the Jets have made the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, but are currently in a fight to stay in the wild card mix this year. Truly one of the more underrated head coaches in the NHL.
The highlight of Maurice’s reign as Jets’ coach came in 2017-18. That season, the team finished with the second-highest point total in the league with 114 points and made it all the way to the Western Conference Final, ultimately losing to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Maurice’s Own Decision to Resign
This news comes as a complete shock. There were no signs of a hot coaching seat in Winnipeg from management’s perspective, and prior to today, no public indications from Maurice to foreshadow this resignation. Even though the Jets find themselves currently out of a playoff spot, their 13-10-5 record isn’t a mark that suggested an imminent coaching change.
In a press conference on Friday morning, Maurice confirmed that the decision to resign was completely his. Maurice stated that in his opinion, the team needs a new voice at this point and that he has given all that he can to the Jets.
Emotional Paul Maurice: this is a good team, I’m a good coach…but sometimes you can only push so far. Sometimes a team needs a new voice. They haven’t quit on me, but need a different voice. It’s the right time for it, and I know that.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 17, 2021
That is a sign of a good head coach knowing when it is time to walk away. Maurice added that he just did not have the same fire coming to the rink anymore.
What This Means Going Forward
Given how sudden this news is, and the fact that this wasn’t leaked or hinted to the media in the previous days, it’s likely that this caught the whole organization by surprise. It’s hard to predict how this news will affect the team and the franchise moving forward. In Vancouver, the Canucks have certainly benefited from an in-season coaching change, but that’s a different scenario where Bruce Boudreau was brought in as part of a complete leadership overhaul.
General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff stated that Dave Lowry will remain in the interim head coach through the remainder of this season.
As for Maurice, he didn’t indicate any personal or medical reasons for his resignation. That leaves the door open for a potential head coaching return in the future. There would certainly be interest in Maurice, who has 1684 games under his belt and an all-time record of 775-680-99-130. It just doesn’t sound like that will happen this season.
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