Jets GM cool with coach Claude

Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel got a vote of confidence from GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on...

Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel got a vote of confidence from GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on Tuesday. Cheveldayoff said Noel "is a wonderful person to be around." (QMI Agency)

Paul Friesen, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:20 AM ET

WINNIPEG - He can talk for long periods of time without saying much of anything.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is a bit like a politician that way, talking around answers without actually handing them out.

So you can't help but wonder if he winces when he hears his head coach in post-game interviews, talking candidly about underachieving players or his underperforming team.

"He's an experienced person and he's different than I am," Cheveldayoff said of Claude Noel's candid approach. "He's different than you are, he's different than everyone else. Going too far or not going too far, that's an opinion."

Note the GM didn't give (ital) his (ital) opinion.

Asked if he ever wanted to muzzle Noel, Cheveldayoff stood his ground.

"You guys are trying to put words (in his mouth). Part of what makes Claude is his passion and again, I'm sure he'd like to muzzle me sometimes, too. We'd all like to muzzle someone."

We're not sure if that was a "yes."

But the rookie GM did praise the work of his first-year head coach, who drew attention from around the NHL for his sometimes oddball anecdotes.

"Claude is a wonderful person to be around on a personal level," Cheveldayoff said. "He's a very emotional guy. He'll say those things to the players as well. There's no phony in Claude.

"Claude did a great job. The whole coaching staff did an exceptional job given the circumstances of transitioning a group of players to a new area... and trying to implement a new system and a new culture in the organization. That's something that does take time."


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