Noel named Winnipeg's head coach
|TrueNorth Sports and Entertainment announces Manitoba Moose coach Claude Noel for the their Head Coach of the unnamed Winnipeg Franchise at the Westin Hotel in Minneapolis June 24th, 2011. (DAVE ABEL/QMI AGENCY)
Claude Noel has been hired as the Winnipeg NHL franchise's first head coach.
Team owners True North Sports and Entertainment made the announcement this morning in St. Paul, Minn., the site of the NHL draft.
Noel becomes the fourth consecutive Manitoba Moose head coach to move to the NHL, following Randy Carlyle (Anaheim Ducks), Alain Vigneault (Vancouver Canucks) and Scott Arniel (Columbus Blue Jackets).
The 55-year-old from Kirkland Lake, Ont., made an impression during his lone season with the Moose, guiding the team to a 43-30-1-6 record, good for 93 points and third spot in the North Division standings.
Noel previously spent four seasons as coach of the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals and three as an assistant with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. He also served as interim coach of the Blue Jackets for 24 games in 2010 after head coach Ken Hitchcock was fired.