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HOCKEYPATROL  /  NHL  /  NEWS

Jets head coach Paul Maurice responds after facing backlash for not shaking Habs players' hands

Published June 11, 2021 at 4:47 PM
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Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice came under heavy fire following the Habs' 4-game sweep of his team after appearing to refuse to shake the Montreap Canadiens players' hands and congratulate them on the win to close out the series.

This rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, as it is a huge part of hockey tradition to show respect to your adversary after going to war. The sportsmanship factor seemed to be the key area focus for people, many of whom interpreted Maurice and his coaching staff crossing the line of players without so much as acknowledging the Habs or making any sort of a congratulatory gesture to their players to be disrespectful.

On Friday, Maurice took the time to clarify why he didn't shake hands with the Habs players and offered his apologies for the misinterpretation.

"If I disrespected any of the Montreal Canadiens by not shaking their hands, my apologies," Maurice said. The veteran coach went on to explain that in his experience, coaches were not expected to shake hands with the players, adding that there were also potential COVID-19 concerns. He also wished to make it clear that the Canadiens deserved to win the series.


I'm not sure if this is backtracking from Maurice due to the public backlash he has faced as a result of the decision or perhaps the shock of being swept caused him to become absent-minded in the moment. Whatever the reality is, only Maurice truly knows. That said, it was the right thing to do to offer up his apologies and publicly acknowledge the Habs' decisive round two victory.

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June 11   |   320 answers
Jets head coach Paul Maurice responds after facing backlash for not shaking Habs players' hands

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