According to Elliotte Friedman, the Winnipeg Jets are set to extend the contracts of head coach Paul Maurice and Kevin Cheveldayoff sometime this week. Both Maurice and Cheveldayoff’s contracts are set to expire after the 2017-18 season, but Darren Dreger followed up the report by stating that the latter has had a new contract in place for a few months.
Cheveldayoff has been the general manager of the Jets since they packed up and moved north from Atlanta in 2011. He was the assistant general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks under Stan Bowman when they won their first Stanley Cup since 1961. Prior to that, Cheveldayoff won two Calder Cups with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.
In his six years as general manager, Cheveldayoff has assembled a pretty impressive amount of young talent in the Jets system. At the top of that list, of course, is Patrik Laine, who was acquired entirely due to lottery luck, but Cheveldayoff has shown savvy drafting with selections like Mark Scheifele, Nik Ehlers, Josh Morrissey, and others.
Paul Maurice replaced Claude Noel mid-way through the 2013-14 season and led the Jets to their first playoff appearance in Winnipeg in 2014-15, his first full season behind the bench. The following seasons have been disappointing for the Jets, who appear to boast a roster strong enough to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Maurice has had an extensive career as a coach in the NHL, spending 13 seasons over two different stints with the Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers franchise, and two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It isn’t all that surprising that Cheveldayoff is sticking around long-term, but based on the recent firings of Lindy Ruff and Darryl Sutter in Dallas and Los Angeles, it’s a little surprising that Maurice has been given a vote of confidence after back-to-back seasons without playoff appearances.