It’d be a safe bet that NHL coaches will be watching what they say to fans in public from now on. Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel learned the hard way just how big a mouth some fans have.
From the Globe and Mail:
When Chuck Duboff headed for lunch at Stella’s Cafe in Winnipeg on Friday the last person he expected to run into was Winnipeg Jets’ coach Claude Noel. But the waiter sat Duboff right next to the coach and they struck up a conversation. Duboff, who shares Jets' season tickets with a group of friends, said he thanked Noel for his work last season and figured that would be the end of their chat. It wasn’t.
Duboff and Noel got into a long talk about the players, fans and ownership. Duboff dutifully wrote down a summary of their conversation (he also got a picture of himself with the coach).
Of course, after the head coach of an NHL team is kind enough to have a genuine chat with you, a fan, about his team the first thing you do is run and blab to the media.
Cool beans bro.
To make this story even more obnoxious, Duboff sent his story around to other reporters, according to Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press.
Among the topics that were discussed were goaltender ondrej Pavelec and how he played “ten games too many.” How Noel really gave it to Alexander Burmistrov during the Jets’ exit meetings and how he believed the Russian should have stayed in the OHL.
According to Duboff, Noel also admitted to being “overwhelmed the last time playing Pittsburgh...didn’t know how to match up against all of the Penguins talent.” He also reportedly said that he had spent the first two months breaking the bad habits of his players and that he thinks it will take a while to change the losing culture from the teams’ days as the Thrashers.
The Jets did not comment about Duboffs alledged conversation with Noel and weren’t happy that it came out to begin with.
You have to think the Jets coach isn’t too pleased about it himself. The guy takes the time to be nice and engage a fan and this is the thanks he gets.
Jets fans, you can thank Chuck Duboff if you run into Claude Noel and he isn’t too willing to have a conversation with you.