Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Sept. 19

Mitch Kasprick is now the “Westdale Curmudgeon” 

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in hockey –

Just so there’s no confusion when I’m spewing my bias, I am a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Ice, and all Team Canada Hockey teams.

I am NOT a fan of Gary Bettman or as I call him, Count Chocula.  I am a big believer in the 7Ps. You’ve been warned.

1. Jets:  The big news of the week in Jetsville is that the Winnipeg Jets have decided to go without a captain this season.  This came as no surprise to a lot of Jets fans but it did catch Blake Wheeler off guard.  Based on what he said during his presser he was informed just a couple of days prior to the Friday presser and he admitted he had no idea this was coming.  He was very gracious in saying he was honoured to be a captain in the NHL and especially in a Canadian city.  It looks like the Jets will be going with rotating Alternate Captains for this season.

2. Jets. There are whispers out there about Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews trade to Winnipeg brewing.  Now I’m not sure this has any legs and it is probably just rumblings in a chat room, or wannabee insiders looking for clickbait but it sure would be interesting.

3. Jets:

How many games will backup goalie David Rittch start?

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4. Jets:  Remember when Paul Maurice accused Matthew Tkachuk of purposely injuring Mark Scheifele in the play-in series a couple of years ago in the”bubble”?  I wonder how their first meeting was in Florida?

5. NHL:  Another one of the decent UFA targets is off the board as the Calgary Flames have offered Sonny Milano a PTO.

6. NHL:  I guess this season’s slogan is “Tank Hard For Connor Bedard”.  Count Chocula is going to just despise this.  Ha Ha Ha.

7. Jets: I thought Jets’ prospect Brad Lambert (30th overall in the 2022 draft) showed pretty well in the first game of the Young Stars Tournament.  He used his good speed to drive around a defender to the net a scored a pretty nice goal.  I’m very curious to see what type of numbers he puts up with Seattle in the WHL this season.

UPDATE:

On Monday, Brad Lambert, Chaz Lucius, and Cole Perfetti all scored in the final game of the tournament giving the Jets a 5-3 win.  

8. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff, Mark Chipman, or Rick Bowness.

Was the decision to go without a captain this season a Rick Bowness decision or a management decision?

9. NHL:  Back to Toews and Kane, the Hawks would have to eat a boatload of salary to make a trade like this with any team but wouldn’t it be interesting to see a trade involving these two players

10. Jets:  Cole Perfetti looked very poised in his first real hockey game since his season-ending injury with the Jets last season. He sees the ice at a different level than most players his age.  I think Perfetti will have a good second season if Rick Bowness plays him in the top 6.  The only thing that concerns me is Cole is a smurf and the hit he took last season that injured him wasn’t much.  I fear for him if he is playing on the wing. 

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11. Jets:  What do you think of Chevy’s work this offseason?  

Are you happy with Chevy's work so far this off-season?

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12. Jets:  Important Dates:  

September 14:  Winnipeg Jets rookie camp.

September 16-19:   Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC. 

Game 1:   Winnipeg vs Edmonton Fri, Sept. 16 4:00pm PT
Game 2:  Calgary vs Vancouver Fri, Sept. 16 7:30pm PT
Game 3:  Calgary vs Edmonton Sat, Sept. 17 7:30pm PT
Game 4:  Vancouver vs Winnipeg Sun, Sept. 18 2:00pm PT
Game 5:  Winnipeg vs Calgary Mon, Sept. 19 11:00am PT
Game 6:  Vancouver vs Edmonton Mon, Sept. 19 2:30pm PT

September 22:  Winnipeg Jets main camp opens.

September 24:  Winnipeg Jets Fanfest.

13. NHL:  FYI:  In case you were wondering about the salaries of Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane.

Patrick Kane:  One more season with a cap hit of $10,500,000 and actual cash money of $6,900,000.

Jonathon Toews:  One more season with a cap hit of $10,500,000 and actual cash money of $6,900,000.  

14. Jets:  I can’t help but wonder if the Jets’ change in leadership has anything to do with making Pierre-Luc Dubois feel like a part of the core leadership going forward. 

15. Jets:  I don’t know what the Hawks would want for Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane but I wouldn’t give them any of our first-round picks drafted the past couple of years.  Taking them off their hands and helping the “Tank Hard For Connor Bedard” sweepstakes should be enough.

16. Jets:  A question I get asked a lot by family and friends is “if the Winnipeg Jets prospects are so good why don’t they light it up in these prospect tournaments?” 

The answer is simple.  In these tournaments, they are playing against a group of their peers, not a bunch of 16, 17, and 18-year-olds from the club teams in their respective leagues.  The teams in these tournaments are made up of recent NHL draft picks and the best free-agent players from the CHL, USHL, NCAA, and the top European leagues.  The competition is tough and very competitive.      

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Comments

  1. Hi Mitch- I think Blake Wheeler’s misfortune is being a finesse player stuck in a 6’5″ frame. He’s skilled as a playmaker, not as a heavy hitter or enforcer. The problem is when other teams get rough, today’s Jets don’t have a Byfuglien, a Thorburn, or even a Kane to step in. From the fans’ point of view, they have no issue if a 177-lb Kyle Connor skates away from an agitator but if a 225-lb Wheeler skates away, it gets under their skin. If Jets’ management had bothered to recruit someone to protect their smaller, skilled players (who get roughed up and have to fight their own battles far too often), Wheeler could play with all the finesse he wants, and everyone would be fine with it.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Eric … thanks for stopping by … even though the game has changed to a faster, skill game, I agree that the smaller players need to be protected … players that can play and enforce are rare in todays game and unfortunately there seems to a loss of respect and accountability in today’s game.

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