'Peg NHL coaching gig intrigues Murray

Former NHL coach Andy Murray.

Former NHL coach Andy Murray.

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:00 PM ET

WINNIPEG - It’s a job that’s tantalizing for someone like Andy Murray.

But the Souris, Man., native, a veteran of 10 seasons as an NHL head coach, isn’t holding his breath, waiting for a call to guide Winnipeg’s new NHL entry.

“If they’re interested, they’ll make contact with you,” Murray told the Sun from his home near Minneapolis, Tuesday. “I haven’t had any contact. I would assume they have a plan in place. They’ve done everything right, so they’ll probably get the coaching situation right, too.”

A former assistant with the Winnipeg Jets, Murray, 60, boasts a resume that includes stints at the helm of the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues, as well as three gold medals with Team Canada at the world championship.

Fired by the Blues in January, 2010 — he remains under contract until the end of this month — he spent this past season in Switzerland, returning just in time to see the NHL return to Winnipeg.

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and assistant GM Craig Heisinger are expected to begin interviews for the head coaching position this week.

“You never know,” Murray said.

“If there was some interest on their part. Being in your home province, you’d be excited about opportunities like that. This is obviously one that’s pretty special. Whoever gets it is going to be fortunate, for sure.”

Manitoba Moose boss Claude Noel, Montreal Canadiens assistant Kirk Muller and Atlanta Thrashers incumbent Craig Ramsay are expected to be on the short list of candidates.

As of late Tuesday, Ramsay had not been interviewed, while a source said Muller was also waiting to have one scheduled.

Murray likes Manitoba something, not Jets

Murray says it’s time to break away from the history of the Winnipeg Jets.

He says the new NHL franchise should grab a new identity.

“That team’s in Phoenix,” Murray said of the Jets. “This is a new beginning, a new core of fans, a new facility, new management — it’s new everything. That bodes well for a new name, as well.”

Murray says he doesn’t care what the name is. At least, not the nickname.

“I’d like to see the name Manitoba in there,” he said. “I just think it’s Manitoba’s team. It’s kids in Elkhorn, kids in Swan River, kids in Dauphin. It’s going to take the whole province to support it.”

True North Sports and Entertainment is hoping to have the name firmed up by the NHL entry draft, but it could take longer.


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