Winnipeg's NHL team to name Noel head coach Staff

6/23/2011 2:12:42 PM

The new Winnipeg NHL franchise has chosen its first bench boss.

Claude Noel will be the man behind the bench when the team hits the ice of the MTS Centre to begin its inaugural season.

Assistant general manager and director of hockey operations Craig Heisinger and general manager Kevin Chevaldayoff would not confirm Noel's hiring on Thursday, but a formal announcement is expected prior to tomorrow's Draft.

Noel is the former head coach of the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose, where he spent one season compiling a 43-30-7 record and losing in the second round of the playoffs.

Prior to that, he spent four seasons as the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals and three as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He was the interim head coach of the Blue Jackets for 24 games in 2010.