Huddy in Jets mix

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:14 AM ET

HAMILTON -- It appears as though Claude Noel is closing in on the first addition to his coaching staff.

A source confirmed that former Edmonton Oilers defenceman and assistant coach Charlie Huddy was in Winnipeg for a meeting with Noel on Wednesday.

Huddy, 52, has 12 years of NHL coaching experience as an assistant with the New York Rangers (two seasons), the Oilers (eight seasons) and Dallas Stars (two seasons) and one season as head coach of the Huntington Blizzard of the ECHL.

He's known as being a good teacher, something that will be a tremendous asset for what is a relatively young Jets blue-line.

Huddy appeared in 1,017 NHL games with the Oilers, Rangers and Buffalo Sabres.

Although he wasn't available for comment on Wednesday, Noel said at the NHL Entry Draft he didn't expect a long, drawn-out interview process when it came to rounding out his staff.

Huddy spent the past two seasons with the Stars, but was let go in late June after Marc Crawford's firing and replaced by Winnipegger Paul Jerrard, who had worked with new head coach Glen Gulutzan with the Texas Stars of the AHL.

There has been some speculation that Manitoba Moose assistant Keith McCambridge would be a candidate for either an assistant's job with the Jets or perhaps the head coaching job in St. John's with Winnipeg's new American Hockey League affiliate.

Were Huddy to be hired, you'd have to think McCambridge might shift his attention to the head coaching job.

Speaking of the St. John's franchise (which is still without a name), they signed Saint John Sea Dogs winger Michael Kirkpatrick to a two-year AHL deal on Wednesday.

Kirkpatrick, who had 31 goals and 82 points last season for the Memorial Cup champions, is the all-time leading scoring in franchise history with 108 goals, 143 assists and 251 points.

The 21-year-old from North Sydney, Nova Scotia is recognized for his two-way play as he was nominated for the Guy Carbonneau Award as the best defensive forward in the QMJHL in 2011.

The paper also reported that former Brandon Wheat Kings goalie Jacob De Serres (who backstopped the Sea Dogs to the Memorial Cup title) has been invited to a Phoenix Coyotes development camp.

De Serres, who won the Jacques Plante Trophy as the QMJHLs top goalie last season, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers but never signed, so he's an unrestricted free agent.

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca

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