Noel Arrives Early
Giants look to get back on track with Noel as new bench boss
Posted December 4, 2014
The Vancouver Giants officially named Claude Noel as their fifth coach in franchise history on Sunday.
The Giants were hoping for a fresh start with bringing in an experienced Troy Ward as their new head coach to start the season, but clearly the change wasn’t what they had hoped for.
Ward was fired last Wednesday by the team, just 23 games into his first year as a WHL coach. With the Giants record a disappointing 9-16-0-0, putting them last in the Western Conference, they decided change was needed and brought the decorated Claude Noel as Ward’s replacement.
Noel brings over 25 years of coaching experience – 15 as a head coach. He has an 80-79-18 record as an NHL head coach, recently spending time with the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-2014 before being fired mid way through last season. Noel has also coached the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2008-10, serving as an assistant and later their head coach, and has head coached the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (2010-11), and Milwaukee Admirals (2003-07). With Milwaukee, Noel made two Calder Cup appearances, winning once in 2004. That year he also won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL coach of the year.
The last time Noel coached junior hockey was in 1989-90, when he was an assistant with the OHL’s North Bay Centennials.
In his time in Winnipeg Noel was very open to the media, at times being harsh or hilarious – you can find some of his post game sound bites on YouTube. He has shown that he can be very hard on his players, albeit he’s consistently acknowledged if his players have shown a lack of effort or ability.
Now as the Claude Noel tenure beings, he takes over a now 10-18-0-0 Giants’ team that has won three of its past 12 contests. Clearly he’ll have his work cut out for him as he tries to salvage the Giants’ season.