by Brandt Corbin

     The new Winnipeg hockey club will have a familiar face behind its bench. The team has hired its first coach and it’s Claude Noel, who recently was the head coach for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. In 2009-10, Noel was the interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets (10-8-6).

    Noel has an extensive head coaching experience, mainly in the ECHL, IHL and AHL. In 2003 Noel directed the Milwaukee Admirals to a Calder Cup Trophy (AHL) Championship, two years later the Admirals lost in the finals.

     Winnipeg has a winner of a coach, if the 55-year-old can continue his winning ways. In the years in the AHL, Noel was 226-124-7-51, also winning coach of the year in 2003. Noel beat out Mike Haviland, who is currently a Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach, and Craig Ramsay who served as coach of the Atlanta Thrashers last season.