A few days ago the Winnipeg Jets extended Paul Maurice for three more years. While this move might make sense on the surface; he has coached the Jets into the playoffs for the past two seasons and has them close to a playoff spot again this season, it does not make sense if you are in the business of results and improvement.
The Jets have been hampered by seemingly not striving to be better than they are. From the outside they appear to be happy to make the playoffs and not necessarily win the Stanley Cup. It appears that way because the Jets have not made the needed improvements to their team for years especially on defence. And keeping Maurice around as the head coach does not necessarily look like a team aspiring to be more than it currently is.
Maurice is a .500 coach. His win percentage is right around there. Maurice was the coach that the Jets needed to break away from Claude Noel, but is he the coach that they need now. The best coaches in the NHL are not the coaches who are retreads, but the new ones on the block who are able to cultivate their own style with the team and find something that works for the group in front of them. Maurice has been with the team long enough to see them reach their peak and fall from it as well. To give him three more years when the team has been in decline and he has changed the system they play for the worst does not make much sense to me.
The Winnipeg Jets had to do something with Paul Maurice soon. He should have been allowed to finish off his contract or be evaluated properly in the off-season. Instead, the Jets decided to forge ahead with a coach that may or may not make the playoffs this season with a team that has been in decline for the past two seasons. If the Jets had come to this conclusion at the end of the season, this might have made sense. Instead, making the call mid-season does not seem to take into account how the Jets have been playing for the past while.
Will the Jets call to keep Maurice might be the right one, but the decision to extend him mid-season when the Jets have not had the best year seems odd.