The Carlyle Conundrum

Ever since former Winnipeg Jets captain, Randy Carlyle was relieved of his head coaching duties for Anaheim speculation has been running rampant that he will be hired on in Winnipeg. Even my cousin believes it’s a strong possibility that he might get a position in the origination.

While I won’t rule out the possibilities of Carlyle joining the Jets I want to do my part to put an end to the nonsense of him taking over for current head coach Claude Noel. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again there is no way Noel is getting fired, demoted or anything else baring a Penn State type scandal. So bottom line True North and company are committed to building a contender and aren’t going to use quick fixes for short-term success. They selected Noel to lead their team and aren’t about to abandon him just because the Jets aren’t a playoff team yet. (They are only 2 points out of 8th currently).

Considering that Winnipeg is only one game below .500 despite playing a league high on the road. To me the Jets are doing better than expected at this point in the season and with the current stretch of 13 games at home out of the next 15. Anything better than .500 after that stretch will be above expectations for the team and will only solidify Noel’s position. If they bomb this home stretch then maybe, maybe questions will be raised about Noel but I would still be shocked if anyone but Claude is behind the bench come the start of Winnipeg’s first season in the Western Conference.

So Noel is safe and not going anywhere how would a former Stanley Cup winning head coach fit into the fold? The simple answer is anywhere, an assistant, a scout, an adviser, a special assistant to the GM? Any of those are all possible but all of those are most likely wrong. If Randy returns to Winnipeg it’ll be on the bench of another team that would have a need to make him their coach.

The fact is that bringing Carlyle into the organization in any capacity will be seen as a back up move or a vote of no confidence in Noel. Yes, Randy has ties to True North and a good relationship with Mark Chipman but that doesn’t mean they’re bring him in simply because of that. It also doesn’t mean that Carlyle would even want to come in as anything other than a head coach which in the end may be the biggest factor.

Whatever the reasons are I would say with utmost confidence that despite obvious emotional and professional ties to Winnipeg that Mr. Carlyle and Mr. Chipman will keep their relationship strictly personal and do whats best for each other professionally.

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Jeff Stevenson is a co-founder of and co-host of the popular Jets Hockey Podcast. He grew up in Winnipeg, MB and became very passionate about sports, hockey and the Jets. Now Jeff is proud and honored to help bring news and information about the Winnipeg Jets to fans around the world.