Much like when Matt Hendricks was signed, Darren Dreger has confirmed Elliotte Friedman’s initial report that the Winnipeg Jets have signed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and head coach Paul Maurice to multi-year contract extensions. This means two things: they have job security in the sense that they can work on a long-term plan and that they are not impervious to being fired. Multi-year means anything that is two years or more.
There is also the possibility that this was done to help them feel less pressure to win now as there are many young, skilled players who need to be given chances to grow. However, Cheveldayoff signed the aforementioned Hendricks to a contract not that long ago and there is still Jacob Trouba and Nikolaj Ehlers to sign next year. The summer after will involve contract negotiations for Patrik Laine. The Jets might see retaining their coach and general manager as part of building a relationship and therefore loyalty with their players, but winning builds loyalty better than anything else. Winning makes Winnipeg seem like a decent place to play even if it is a quirky, smaller market.
If the Jets made this decision based on previous results then it is undeserving. The team has only been in the playoffs once since moving to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011. They have struggled to win when they need it and have had needs like goaltending and defensive depth ignored while young players have been held back by being played with the Chris Thorburns of the Jets.
This is a very weird move for the Jets. They do have some good pieces, but those pieces have been used oddly in some ways. The Jets rarely play young players high up in the lineup and generally are expected to produce while playing alongside bottom-six players. Hopefully, the newfound security the coach and GM have will mean that young players will be able to earn spots higher in the lineup because there is job security for the coach and general manager. Hopefully, those two reward ownership’s faith in them.