Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Apr. 5

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

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 Winnipeg Jets had a so-so week going 1-1-1.  After beating Calgary on Monday they concluded a pretty tough month of March with a record of 9-7-1.  The Jets went 0-1-1 vs Toronto this week but I thought they played pretty well in both games with the exception of the first period of their 3-1 loss on Wednesday.  They now have an overall record of 22-13-3.

2. Jets:  First and foremost.  Lets get on the bandwagon and help our neighbours in St. Adolphe with their quest to become Kraft Hockeyville. 

Voting starts this Friday at 8 am MB time. 

VOTE early and VOTE often at http://KraftHockeyville.ca

3. JetsI think Winnipeg fans that don’t watch a lot of other teams outside of the Jets don’t realize what they have in Pierre-Luc Dubois.  I love everything about his game but he is a very different player than Patrik Laine and he may end up being a better fit in the long run.  His game reminds me a lot of LA’s Anze Kopitar and I think most Winnipeg Jets fans could all live with that.   

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose only played one game this week, losing to a very good Laval team 3-1.  The Moose will get back to a more normal schedule now and play nine more games at home to finish off their monster 17-game homestand.  The Moose need to make some hay in these nine games after only winning two games in the first eight of this homestand. 

Noteworthy: David Gustafsson has 2 goals and 8 assists for 10 points in 10 games with Manitoba Moose and should be a no-brainer to replace Nate Thompson next season.  I will be surprised if we don’t see him up with the big club at some point this season.    

5. Jets:  Poll Question:  Who is your biggest surprise on the Winnipeg Jets roster so far this season?

Who has been the biggest surprise this season? Good or Bad.

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6. Jets:  I know it’s just conversational fodder but Kevin Cheveldayoff is not going to leave Dylan DeMelo, Josh Morrissey, or Logan Stanley exposed for the Seattle expansion draft.  I would expect Chevy to make a deal with Seattle much like the one he did with the Vegas Golden Knights.  

 7. Jets:  I would be very happy if Mason Appleton turned into a player like Zach Hyman.   

8. NHL:  I wonder if Patrik Laine tries to play out his RFA contract with Columbus and get to free agency so he can sign in Florida with his buddy Aleksander Barkov?  

9. Jets:  Nathan Beaulieu had surgery this past week for a torn labrum and will be done for the season.  You never want to see a player lose his job to an injury BUT I’m not sure we see Nathan Beaulieu much next season unless the Jets have 3 or 4 injuries and if we do it will be time for a very HARD look at this team’s brain trust. 

10. Jets:  Is it possible that with the NHL’s flat salary cap for the foreseeable future that pending RFA, Andrew Copp could price himself out of Winnipeg much like Brandon Tanev and Ben Chiarot?  

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11. Jets:  Looking forward to next season I think most Jets fans would expect Ville Heinola and probably Dylan Samberg to be regulars in the Jets lineup and with the emergence of Logan Stanley I wonder if the Jets bring back Derek Forbort?  I think I would but that would be a lot of left shot defencemen.   

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:   TRADE DEADLINE POLL 

Factoring in the cost of acquisition, player’s contract, contract status (term), the actual chance of acquiring said player, and his impact on the roster, who should the Winnipeg Jets pursue?

Who would be your top trade deadline acquisition for the Winnipeg Jets?

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14. Jets:  The NHL trade deadline is next Monday and I would be surprised if Chevy waited until the last minute to make his trade/trades UNLESS the prices are too high and he needs to wait until closer to the deadline to make his best deal.  I can see a couple small depth deals but not the big fish Jets fans are hoping for.

15. Jets:  Schedule

Update:  The May 7 game vs Ottawa has been re-scheduled to Monday, April 5.  This is due to the two postponed Vancouver games this week.

16. Jets:  Looking back at it in retrospect, the Winnipeg Jets did pretty well in the Jacob Trouba trade and it actually saved them quite a bit of money as well.  Next year Neal Pionk and Ville Heinola combined will still make way less than Trouba’s AAV of $8,000,000 per season.  Thumbs up to Chevy and our scouts.  

17. Jets:  Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 2nd at 25.70% down from 26.70% last week.
  • PK: 1st at 80.20 up from 78.60% last week. 
  • FO: 5th at 48 .60 down from 48.60% last week.

18. Jets:  I have a love-hate relationship with Tucker Poolman and it changes from game to game.  Sometimes I like a lot of things he does and other times I wonder what the hell he is doing in the NHL.    

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  17-10-3 … 2.53 GAA … .920 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  5-3-0 … 2.63 GAA … .914 SV%

20. Jets:  The popular narrative going around in hockey circles is that this is the year to trade your first round pick because of the uncertainty of the rankings because most prospects haven’t played much or at all.  For me, this is the exact reason to keep your first rounder, you might get a steal later in that first round.  NHL teams have had rankings on these players since they were 16 years old so I’m not sure the issue is as big as some are making it out to be.

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In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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If you have any thoughts on any of these comments or questions, please let me know. We would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks, Mitch

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