There was no Joy in Joyville for Winnipeg Jets Head Coach Claude Noel in season three since the move from Atlanta.
Noel was fired on January 12, 2014 after going 19-23-5 with the Jets sitting in last place in the Central Division. In came Paul Maurice and
four straight Stanley Cups yet another season without a trip to the playoffs. I hear things improved the next season though.
Noel coached the Jets in 177 games, with 80 wins, 79 losses and 18 losses after regulation.
Noel went on to take over the reins for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants on November 30, 2014, and coached them for the remainder of the season, posting a 17-23-2-2 record before “mutually parting ways”. Noel has been a scout in the New Jersey Devils organization since August of 2015.
Thirty-three players skated for the Jets in 2013-2014, with six leaving the organization after the season. Others, like John Albert, have not played in the NHL since. This article highlights who they are, how much (or little) they contributed in their time in Winnipeg, and where they are now.
From most games played that season to least:
#12 Olli Jokinen, C Born December 5, 1978
GP 82 G 18 A 25 P 43 PIM 62 -8
When the Winnipeg Jets signed Olli Jokinen to a two-year contract on July 2, 2012, it seemed like a really good idea. Two years for nine million seemed like an alright deal for one of, if not the, best centres available in free agency that off-season, and the Jets were still waiting for some kid named Mark Scheifele to make the jump so why not. He was coming off of a 23 goal, 61 point season with the Calgary Flames and looked to be a solid second line centre.
After a lockout-shortened season and a full season, Jokinen managed just 57 points in 127 games, as it seemed age suddenly caught up with the then 33-35 year old.
Jokinen spent one more season playing hockey, playing for the Predators who traded him to the Maple Leafs who then traded him to the Blues. He racked up four goals, six assists, and 62 games. He signed an honorary contract to retire as a Florida Panther, where he played seven successful seasons, in March of 2017. He now runs the South Florida Hockey Academy in Florida with Tomas Vokoun and Radek Dvorak.
#12 Devin Setoguchi, RW Born January 1, 1987
GP 75 G 11 A 16 P 27 PIM 22 -7
Devin Setoguchi’s lone campaign in Manitoba’s capital was filled with struggles both on and off the ice.
As The Hockey News reported, Setoguchi was dealing with substance abuse off the ice which led to increasingly poor play on the ice. A second line of Evander Kane, Scheifele and Setoguchi never emerged, as Setoguchi never found the scoring touch that once saw him score 31 goals in his second NHL season.
Of course, hockey was not nearly as important as life itself, and Setoguchi dealt with alcoholism and drug use before entering a rehab program in April of 2015 and has been sober since.
Currently, Setoguchi is playing alongside former Jet Mark Stuart with Mannheim of the German elite league.
#17 James Wright, C Born March 24, 1990
GP 59 G 0 A 2 P 2 PIM 15 -3
Ondrej Pavelec has more points (three) than James Wright did in 2013-2014. At the time, it absolutely boggled my mind that a forward could play 59 games and fail to score a goal. In a combined 97 games with the Jets, Wright managed two goals, which ended up being half of his NHL career totals.
Wright has not played in the NHL since 2013-2014, and that lack of firepower probably contributes to that. He played the next year for Zagreb, Croatia’s KHL team, before moving back for a stint in the AHL with Bridgeport.
Wright has played the past two seasons with Vladivostok, meaning when he travels for road games he travels faaaaaarrrrrrrr (the distance between Vladivostok and Moscow is 6416 kilometres (3986 miles)).
#27 Eric Tangradi, LW Born February 10, 1989
GP 55 G 3 A 3 P 6 PIM 21 -6
Tangradi was acquired in February of 2013 via a trade with the Penguins that saw a 6th roud pick go the other way. That pick became Dane Birks, who currently plays for Michigan Tech. Now you know.
Tangradi managed to have a little more offensive prowess than Wright, scoring three goals (four total as a Jet).
Tangradi’s most notable accomplishment as a Jet was being part of Kevin Cheveldayoff’s first “player for player” trade as a GM. Of course, it barely counted, as Tangradi has played a whopping eight NHL games since being traded to for Patrick Holland and Peter Budaj. Holland never played in the NHL again, and retired at age 24. Budaj played one season for St. John’s and managed to go 0-9-6, which is more impressive than anything.
Budaj had a decent year last year, going a combined 30-21-3 between the Kings and Lightning, where he re-signed for two years this off-season.
#35 Al Montoya, G Born February 13, 1985
GP 28 W 13 L 8 OT/SO 3 GAA 2.30 SV% .920
In his second and final season with Winnipeg, Al Montoya had one of the best seasons by a goaltender in franchise history. That isn’t saying much, given the level of competition, but it’s true.
Montoya put up solid number’s as Ondrej Pavelec’s backup in his second season, as his .920 save percentage can attest. Unfortunately, Pavelec played 57 games and had a .901 save percentage. Yeeesh.
Montoya was allowed to hit free agency in the 2014 off-season, likely because Michael Hutchinson went ham on the St. John’s IceCaps run to the Calder Cup finals, and posted good numbers in his three NHL appearances as well.
Since leaving Winnipeg, Montoya spent two seasons with Florida and is now in his second season with Montreal.
Gone but not forgotten:
#25 D Zach Redmond, 10 games: Man, I’m just happy this guy is still alive. After an unfortunate injury suffered from a teammate’s skate during practice, it could have been a lot worse for Zach Redmond.
Redmond made his comeback with the Jets and managed to appear in 10 games and pick up three points in 2013-14.
Since leaving the Jets, Redmond has played with Colorado and Montreal, and currently plays for the Buffalo Sabre’s AHL affiliate Rochester Americans.