Winnipeg coach Maurice resigns, Lowry gets interim job

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Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice has resigned in a surprise move in his ninth year with the team

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice has resigned, saying his longtime team needs to hear a “new voice.”

The Jets announced Maurice’s decision on Friday, and said it was effective immediately. Dave Lowry, an assistant under Maurice, agreed to serve as the interim coach for the rest of the season, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.

Winnipeg (13-10-5) has dropped three of four heading into Friday night’s game against the visiting Washington Capitals. It lost 4-2 to the lowly Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

“This isn’t necessarily a bunch of negative things that stacked up on this,” Maurice said. “This was, I’ve pushed as long and as hard as I can here. I love these guys. They need a new voice, and I know that.”

Maurice, who turns 55 on Jan. 30, coached Winnipeg into the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons. The Jets swept Edmonton in the first round in May and then were swept by Montreal in the next round.

Maurice took over as Jets coach in January 2014. He coached exactly 600 regular-season games with the franchise, going 315-223-62.

He signed a multiyear extension with the Jets in February 2020.

“Even in the real disappointing losses, I thought we worked,” Cheveldayoff said. “A lot of times you hear the terms … ‘He lost the room’ and stuff like that. I really didn’t think that the guys ever stopped working and I don’t think they ever stopped listening. Did they stop hearing? It’s semantics, but I think there is a different thing.”

Maurice got his first head coaching job with the then-Hartford Whalers for the 1995-96 season. He has a career record of 775-680-99-130, spending two stints with the Carolina franchise and also coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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