Fantasy Take: Maurice Resigns in Winnipeg

Ian Gooding

2021-12-17

Paul Maurice has announced his resignation as the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets. Current assistant coach Dave Lowry will take over as head coach for the rest of the season.

Assuming that Maurice resigned on his own terms and was not pressured by management, credit to him for recognizing that he thought that the team needed a different voice behind the bench and that he no longer felt the desire he once had. This self-awareness is rare in a business where coaches are hired to eventually be fired.

Although the Jets could be playing better (currently just outside of a wild-card spot), they weren’t necessarily in need of the circuit-breaking type of change that had to happen in Vancouver. As a result, don't expect the change from Maurice to assistant Lowry to have as significant of an impact as Bruce Boudreau's hiring in Vancouver. A scan through the Frozen Tools Cold Players list for the Jets shows only Kristian Vesalainen (0 PTS in last 5 GP) and Andrew Copp (0 PTS in last 4 GP). Blake Wheeler (currently injured) and Mark Scheifele in particular had been struggling early in the season, but they have both been able to rebound.

An easy assumption with Lowry taking over is that his son Adam Lowry will benefit in terms of increased opportunities. Lowry has shown a bit of a scoring touch in the past, although he has mainly been in a bottom-6 role with the Jets. We won't make any guesses about team politics, but if Lowry's scoring picks up, he will be worth adding in bangers leagues in particular.

Where Lowry could make an impact is defensively. The Jets currently have the league's second-worst penalty kill (68.8%). A poor penalty kill can hurt a goalie's numbers, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Connor Hellebuyck (10-8-4, 2.70 GAA, .915 SV%) has been more mid-tier than top-tier in fantasy leagues this season. If nothing else, Hellebuyck and other Jets might simply benefit from the new coach bump.

Players this helps, in order:

Hellebuyck

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