Paul Maurice resigns as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets

WATCH: Paul Maurice talks about his decision to step down as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets: “This is a good team. I’m a good coach,” said Maurice, but he said he couldn’t push “the rock uphill” any longer.

Paul Maurice has resigned as the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, effective immediately.

“This is a good team. I’m a good coach,” said Maurice, but he said he couldn’t push “the rock uphill” any longer.

In a bittersweet press conference Friday, Maurice said he had reached a point where he wasn’t sure he was the “right guy” for the team anymore, but said he was proud of the work he and the team have done in the past several years.

“This was 100 per cent my decision,” he said, adding that the past few years had been “more of a grind” than his usual joy to come to work.

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“They need a new voice. They need someone to get them to that next place…. It’s the right time.”

“I think the day I got hired was a good day for the team … and I think today is also a good day for the team.”

“I’m cheering for these guys. I love these guys, I love this place.”

Captain Blake Wheeler was the first to learn of Maurice’s departure, and then Maurice spoke to the whole team.

The Jets say assistant coach Dave Lowry will take over head coach duties on an interim basis until at least the end of the year.

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GM Kevin Cheveldayoff thanked Maurice for his years as head coach.

“A lot of conversations that Paul and I have had over the past weeks … is just getting it to that next level, and what it’s gonna take and can you get there.

“In his mind, he felt that he certainly wasn’t going to be able to get us to that next level.”

Asked if he was going to eventually fire Maurice, Cheveldayoff deflected, saying it was a conversation and that Maurice made the decision.

“It’s going to be an adjustment for them,” Cheveldayoff said, speaking of the players, but added that he’s “excited for Dave Lowry.”

“We’re going to deal with the present here, we’re not going to sit here and speculate on how things are going to be.”

The Jets play Friday night at the Canada Life Centre at 7 p.m. against the Washington Capitals.

 

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