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Jets sack Noel as coach, hire Maurice

Jan 11, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton (8) falls as he battles for the puck with Winnipeg Jets d
Jan 11, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton (8) falls as he battles for the puck with Winnipeg Jets d

(Reuters) - The struggling Winnipeg Jets fired head coach Claude Noel on Sunday, replacing him with former Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Paul Maurice.

Noel, 58, was in his third season in charge of Winnipeg and was sacked one day after the team had lost their fifth straight game.

He ends his tenure with an overall record of 80-79-18, having gone 37-35-10 in his first year with the Jets.

Maurice, 46, becomes the team's second head coach since the franchise moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011.

He has a career coaching record of 460-457-167 after 15 NHL seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Hurricanes and the Maple Leafs, but takes over a franchise that has not reached the playoffs since 2007.

Maurice guided Carolina to the 2002 Eastern Conference title and two Southeast Division crowns, as well as four consecutive winning seasons from 1998-2002.

The (19-23-5) Jets sit 12th in the 14-team Western Conference.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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