The Vancouver Giants have a new head coach and he’s not short on experience.
The Giants announced that they have hired former Winnipeg Jets head coach, Claude Noel. Noel was the last coach of the Manitoba Moose and the first coach of the new Winnipeg Jets. He also has head coaching experience with the Columbus Blue Jackets and over 25 years of coaching experience.
Sitting in last place in the WHL’s Western Conference, the Giants fired head coach, Troy Ward, after just 25 games. Ward had some pedigree of his own, coaching the Abbotsford Heat to a 43-25-8 last season. But he did have large shoes to fill, replacing one of the most successful junior coaches ever, Don Hay.
It felt like Ward didn’t get junior players. Hay’s a yeller and a screamer, both at practices and games. Ward rarely raised his voice at either. What Ward did do was bench guys for a period or a two at a time, be it for a careless penalty or a lacklustre effort defensively. It’s a pro mentality.
Nobody will ever accuse Claude Noel of being shy. He is animated with the media and that likely translates to his players as well. He hasn’t coached junior hockey since he was an assistant in North Bay in 1989-90 though.
One thing for sure is that Claude Noel will be entertaining.
Feature Image: winnipegfreepress.com