Winnipeg NHL team hires Claude Noel as coach

June 24, 2011 - 1:45 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Claude Noel was hired Friday as coach of the transplanted Winnipeg franchise, returning to the NHL and joining a team still without a name.

"Claude is someone that can teach, bring players together as a group, make the sum better than the whole of their parts," general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said at a news conference before the NHL draft.

Noel has been an NHL coach with Columbus. He coached the AHL's Manitoba Moose last season, leading them to a 43-40-1-6 record.

Before that he spent three years with the Blue Jackets, first as an assistant and then as head coach after Ken Hitchcock was fired in February 2010. He has also coached in the AHL, ECHL and IHL.

The Winnipeg team is relocating from Atlanta. Its team name may be announced at Friday night's draft.