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Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel has maintained a lasting friendship with St. Louis Blues boss Ken Hitchcock. FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Fred Greenslade

Fred Greenslade/Reuters

Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel has some sympathy for Leaf's coach Ron Wilson, who had fans chanting for his firing Tuesday night.

Noel said he watched highlights of the Leafs game against Florida on television and he heard the crowd chant "Fire Wilson".

"I don't wish that on anybody," Noel said Wednesday after the Jets practised at the MTS Centre in preparation to meet the Panthers on Thursday. "When you get into this profession we know what's happening. And it's not something that you wish on anybody really. It's a tough task. That's the way it goes. What can you say?"

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Noel said he had never faced anything like that, "touch wood", but added that it comes with the job and heightened media attention, particularly in Canada, when it comes to hockey.

"When we take on this job, we know what's at stake," he said. "We know it's a short shelf life. We know if you have longevity you are probably fortunate. And you walk around with a target [on your back]and you better take criticism and you've got to be thick-skinned. And if you are not, you are probably in the wrong job."

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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