After less than a season with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, former Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel and the club have mutually agreed to go their separate ways.
The news of Noel and the Giants looking at different options comes less than a week after Vancouver’s season ended with a 5-2 loss to the Kelowna Rockets. Noel, who took over the Giants’ coaching duties on Nov. 30, 2014, posted a record of 17-23-2-2 and Vancouver finished in last place in the Western Conference.
“We’d like to thank Claude for his time with our club,” said Giants majority owner Ron Toigo in a release. “Claude would like to pursue pro opportunities, and we need to move forward. We really appreciate him stepping into this role mid-season; we’re ending our time together on really good terms, and we wish him all the best in the future.”
Noel spent three seasons on the Jets’ bench before landing with the Giants. In 177 games in Winnipeg, Noel posted a record of 80-79-18, but was let go 47 games into 2013-14 after the Jets stumbled to a 19-23-5 record. Paul Maurice subsequently replaced Noel.
He also spent 24 games as the interim coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10, leading the team to a 10-8-6 record after Ken Hitchcock was relieved of his duties in Columbus.
He has coached 400 AHL games and had a record of 226-124-43 with seven ties. As bench boss of the Milwaukee Admirals in 2003-04, Noel helped the club capture the AHL’s Calder Cup as league champion and won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s coach of the year. In 2005-06, he led the team back to the Calder Cup final, but Milwaukee lost in six games to the Hershey Bears.
It’s unclear at this time which professional opportunities Noel will pursue.