Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 25

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 Pierre-Luc Dubois drama is settled for the time being as he accepted the Jets qualifying offer of $6,000,000 although it still doesn’t settle the big picture.  It will be very interesting and probably be very frustrating watching this play out.     

2. Jets:  Rick Bowness was a guest on Winnipeg Sports Talk last week with Andrew Patterson and Michael Remis and the way he was talking it seemed like he was inferring that ALL the players including Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler were very disappointed in their season last year and are all-in to prove they are better than last year’s result.  Bowness sounded very positive and upbeat, although it would be surprising if he wasn’t.  Reading between the lines he made it sound like the captain will be back, so maybe the trade rumours were just that, rumours.  The Jets are short on top 6 forwards so trading Scheif or the captain just makes no sense.  For now.    

3. Jets:  Isn’t it funny that with all the drama surrounding PLD how the Mark Scheifele trade rumours have subsided?    

4. Jets:  I really liked Evgeny Svechnikov but he didn’t move the needle enough for me to get all bent out of shape because the Jets didn’t extend him a qualifying offer.  

5. Jets:  I think Connor Hellebuyck (6’4) and David Rittich (6’3) will be a decent combo.  I like big goalies and these two are big. 

6. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets have added Brad Lauer and Marty Johnson to Rick Bowness’s coaching staff.  To be honest I really have no opinion on these hires until we see them at work.  The proof will be in the special teams.  Fingers crossed folks. 

7. Jets:  I’ve never been an Andrew Copp guy although I’ll admit the Jets will miss him BUT not at $5,625,000 per season.  That’s a lot of cheese for a 3rd line winger which I still think Copp is.  He got his wish and will be a top 6 forward in Detroit and we’ll see how that pans out.  Good luck Andrew and my condolences to Red Wings fans.    

8. Jets:  Mason Appleton has an arbitration hearing set for Aug. 11 but he and the team can still negotiate a new deal up to the deadline.  Appleton was paid $900,000 last season and I predict the Jets and him settle on a new deal before the arb hearing somewhere in the $1,200,000 range.

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9. NHL:  There isn’t a lot on the UFA market that really interests me besides the obvious like Nazim Kadri but maybe a player like Evan Rodriquez, Sonny Milano, or Lawson Crouse could be on Chevy’s radar.      

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

Hey Chevy, are the fish biting at the lake?  I hope so because outside of David Rittich you’ve landed nothing but a bunch of minnows from the UFA pool. 

11. Jets:  What do you think of Chevy’s work so far?  

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

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12. Important Dates:  

August 9:  U20 WHC starts in Edmonton and runs until Aug.20.

August 11:  Mason Appleton arbitration hearing.

13. Jets:  In my opinion, David Gustafsson is the only forward from the Moose that will graduate to the big club this fall.  FYI, I’m counting Morgan Barron as a Jets roster player.  Chevy has his work cut out to fortify the forward group.  

14. Jets:  With Paul Stastny not returning this year, I would assume that a top 6 forward spot is there for the taking for Cole Perfetti.

Perfetti/Scheifele/Ehlers

Connor/Dubois/Wheeler   

15. Jets:  Although it’s been said an NHL team needs 8-10 defencemen to get themselves through a season, as of today the Jets have too many NHL-ready defencemen looking for jobs on the big club.  Chevy has to thin the herd.  Right now the Jets have Morrissey, DeMelo, Pionk, Dillon, Schmidt, Samberg, Stanley, Heinola, Kovacevic, Capobianco, Chisholm, and Gwanke all knocking on the door for NHL employment.   

16. Jets:  Players have off seasons and I have no doubt that this current Jets team will be motivated to be better.  There is too much talent on this team and hockey players are extremely competitive and have too much pride, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do with a new head coach and a clean slate.  Call me crazy but I still have faith in this team. 

17. Jets:  Speaking of defencemen, Jonathon Kovacevic has signed a 3-year deal with the Jets worth $766,700 per season at the NHL level with the first 2 years being a 2-way deal while the 3rd season is a 1-way deal.  This year Kovacevic is not waiver exempt so it is a real possibility the Jets could lose him.  Stay tuned.   

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The Winnipeg Jets Should Retool Now

The Winnipeg Jets need to start the retool now and not in the off-season-

In a year that has gone off the rails, it makes sense to me to start the retooling right now. 

Retool ~ Verb

1.  equip with new or adapted tools.
2.  adapt or alter to make them more useful or suitable.

The good guys are currently sitting at 18-17-7 going in the NHL’s All-Star break which puts them 6th in the Central Division and the news gets worse.  The Jets sit 9 points out of the last wildcard position and need to jump over five teams with only fourty games left in the season.  Even the most diehard fan knows there is no way in hell with the way this team is playing from the goaltender out that we will see a Whiteout this season.  Let’s call it what it is, another lost season and move on.  I know, I know the truth hurts but I’m not here to wave pom-poms or blow smoke you know where.

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 17

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 won their only game this past week, defeating Detroit 3-0 in a solid road win.   This win keeps them within striking distance of the final wildcard spot in the Western Conferfence.  This was a huge win with the Jets heading out on a four-game road trip next week with games against four very tough teams.  With games in Washington, Nashville, Boston, and Pittsburgh this could be a season defining road trip and I would think four points is a must.  Right now the Jets record sits at 17-12-5 and they are 3 points out of the last wildcard position.    [Read more…]

Winnipeg Jets First Quarter Grades: Defencemen, Goalies, And Special Teams

Winnipeg Jets grades for the defencemen and goaltenders – 

At this time last season, the Winnipeg Jets defensive corp was well below league average in my opinion but Kevin Cheveldayoff added a couple of solid mid-range defencemen that have vastly improved the Winnipeg Jets back end.  This season this corp is far better moving the puck in transition but the defensive system seems to still struggle even with an overall better defensive corp.  The system is flawed at times and still allows too many high-danger chances.  The goaltending is still way better than average but the special teams are an embarrassment considering the personnel this team employs.    [Read more…]

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