It’s April 10, a couple of days after the Winnipeg Jets played their last game of another playoff-missing season, and head coach Paul Maurice and GM Kevin Chevaldayoff are doing their season-ending news conference.
The talk quickly turns to the status of contract extension talks for Maurice, who will be in the final year of his deal heading into the 2017-18 season, and both he and Cheveldayoff seem to agree it’s already all but a done deal.
"Paul has my full support," says Chevaldayoff.
"Every contract I’ve ever done took about 10 minutes," says Maurice.
Well, we must be in some kind of weird wormhole then, because that 10 minutes has now stretched into over four months, and with just five weeks to go before the team plays its first pre-season game on Sept. 18, Maurice is still a lame-duck head coach heading into the coming NHL season.
So what gives? I ask Jets spokesman Scott Brown.
"Actually I haven’t heard anything lately," Brown replies. "But it’s not a topic I ask about until told."
Memo to Donald Trump: If you’re really determined to fix all those White House leaks, you could do a lot worse than to simply emulate everything the Winnipeg Jets do.
Now, there are a number of perfectly reasonable and innocent explanations for why 10 minutes has become four months... and counting.
Maybe the two parties really are so close that they’ve simply kicked the whole thing down the road, knowing full-well that they can quickly hammer out the last details when they finally sit down.