Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 18

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:  A lot of Jets fans are asking how the Jets let RFA, Eric Comrie slip away and turn into a UFA?  Was it an oversight or an organisational decision not to tender a QO to Comrie?  Comrie had played in enough games to still be considered an RFA but he was 90 minutes short in those games to retain his RFA status.  Somebody over at TNSE has some “splaining to do”.  The winner in all this was Eric Comrie who earned himself a tidy little raise and a chance to be the #1 tender in Buffalo.  Two years at $1,800,000 per season is a helluva lot more than he was going to get in Winnipeg.  Good for him.      [Read more…]

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 11

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. 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE

1. Jets:  Just in case you forgot, Mark Scheifele won’t be available for the season opener in Anaheim Wednesday night because he still has to serve one more game of his four-game suspension from last season’s playoffs.    

2. Jets:  I’d feel a lot better about Andrew Copp playing on the second line if Paul Maurice said he wanted to add a defensive presence to the line and not because he believes Copp is a top-six winger.   

3. Jets As of today, winger Evgeny Svechnikov is still unsigned but I think it has something to do with the salary cap and his signing is just a formality.   

4. Jets:  This made me smile.

5. NHL:  Has everybody else had enough of Evander Kane and Robin Lehner? 

6. Jets:  The Jets game versus Calgary on Wednesday night was the best Josh Morrissey has looked offensively in ages and he and Nate Schmidt seem to have developed some chemistry together.  I really liked this pairing on the second unit powerplay.

7. Jets:  Upcoming events.

Oct. 13 – First regular-season game at Anaheim.

Oct. 21 – Home opener vs Anaheim.

8. Jets:  I remember a few years back there was talk of Evander Kane to Montreal for Max Pacioretty and at that time I said a “HARD NO”.  Ask me again.  

9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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10. Jets:  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers is playing at an elite level so far this season and I’m guessing his early start representing Denmark in Olympic qualifying has a lot to do with it.  I’m expecting big production from him early on and all season.  I think I will take a run at him tonight in our “keeper league” auction.  

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11. NHL:  While I was watching highlights of a Seattle Kraken pre-season game I felt a little bad for the hockey fans of Quebec City.  I guess the only way Quebec City is getting an NHL franchise is if the NHL puts another team in Atlanta and they have to relocate it ten years later.

12. Jets:  Wednesday’s game versus Calgary was the first game this pre-season the Jets dressed a reasonable facsimile of their opening night lineup and although Nate Beaulieu wasn’t awful he did stand out as the weakest link.  He is a battler and a team guy but right now I have him as purely a depth guy, probably 8-9 on my depth chart BUT Paul Maurice probably has him in the 6-7 slot and he’s the boss.   

13. NHL:  Why do most people including sports announcers call pre-season games exhibition games?  That is a very very old-school reference and it irritates the hell out of me.  The NFL doesn’t call them exhibition games, MLB doesn’t call them exhibition games either.  STOP IT. 

14. Jets:  I think Cole Perfetti has outplayed all of the so-called “bubble” players competing for a spot on the Jets roster and he has been better than a lot of veterans that are half-assing it through the pre-season.  It would be a shame for him not to make the Jets 22-man roster but I sort of understand if they send him to the Moose.  There is a bigger picture and I get it but I don’t have to like it.     

UPDATE: 

15. Jets:  Dominic Toninato and Nelson Nogier were placed on waivers Sunday and if they clear will be assigned to the Manitoba Moose.  Cole Perfetti, Kristian Vesalainen, and Evgeny Svechnikov have escaped the axe so far but we won’t know for sure until Wednesday.   

UPDATE: 

16. Jets:  Unless there was some underlying problem between Patrik Laine and the Winnipeg Jets that we don’t know about I wish the Jets would have invested in Laine before committing long term to Kyle Connor.  That doesn’t mean I still wouldn’t want KC but I would have prioritized the true sniper.  KC is a good enough scorer but Laine was elite and didn’t have to be attached at the hip with Mark Scheifele.

17. Jets:  In a bit of a surprise, at least for me, the Winnipeg Jets have assigned David Gustafsson to the Manitoba Moose.  This tells me they are probably going with a 22 man roster.  The good news is Cole Perfetti hasn’t been sent down as of the writing.  Hmmmmmmmmm. 

18.  Jets:  Not that I’m overly concerned about it but Connor Hellebuyck hasn’t looked great during the pre-season games he has played in.   

19. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois has looked decent during the pre-season and all Winnipeg Jets fans are hoping for big things from PLD.  He will definitely be under the microscope early on this season and especially Wednesday night when the Jets play their season opener in Anaheim versus the Ducks without Mark Scheifele.    

20. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are now 8-1 after dominating the Edmonton Elks on Friday night.  The Bombers’ defence absolutely smothered the Elks offence for 60 minutes.  I’ve seen a lot of great Bomber defences over the years and some dominant performances but this one was one for the ages.  

PS:  Winnipeg Hockey Talk needs someone interested in writing about the Winnipeg Ice.  If you are interested contact me (Mitch) at winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Sept. 27

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. NHL:  Main camps have officially opened in NHL cities and there is as much talk about who is and who isn’t vaccinated as there is about the actual hockey.  I guess this is the new world we live in now.  

2. Jets:  Update for Jets fans wanting to attend training camp, the IcePlex will be open to watching practice but there are rules. 

  • Fans will be allowed to into the rinks to watch. 
  • Seating will be limited. to 250 people max per rink.
  • Spectators need to be fully vaccinated and have proof  (QR code or physical card) and one piece of government-issued photo ID.

3. Jets Sami ​Niku has been placed on waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.

I’ve always been a Sami Niku supporter but I find it hard to believe that he was untradeable and that nobody claimed him on waivers.  Niku is a gifted offensive defenceman on an NHL minimum contract.  There must be more to it than meets the eye but Sami Niku had fallen so far down the Jets depth chart that you had to call before you dig.

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 24

The Montreal Canadiens officially announced the signing of Sami Niku.  He will earn $750,000 in the NHL and $425,000 if assigned to the minors,

4. Jets: The first day of camp and Paul Maurice announces this.  I hope I’m not reading too much into it.  This season Nate should be a depth guy and not see the lineup unless there is an injury in the newly minted top-six.   

5. NHL:  The NHL sent a memo updating vaccination requirements to its teams:

“Any person whose job, role, position or access entails or entitles them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.”  

The first thought that came to mind was why is everybody involved with the teams required to be vaccinated with the exception of the players?  This makes ZERO sense to me.  Then this got me wondering if I would want to know which players on my team weren’t vaccinated and how I would feel about them if I knew? 

Would you want to know the vaccination status of your favourite teams players and would it change how you feel about them?

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This was from the captain on Thursday morning.

6. Jets:  Dylan Samberg, high ankle sprain. 6-8 weeks, as per Kevin Cheveldayoff.  This is a tough break for Samberg but he probably wasn’t a threat to make the big club’s roster to start the season.  

7. Jets:  Upcoming events.

Sept. 26 – First pre-season game vs Ottawa. (TSN 3)

Oct. 13 – First regular-season game at Anaheim.

Oct. 21 – Home opener vs Anaheim.

8. Jets:  After the Winnipeg Jets announced that the team was fully vaccinated Connor Hellebuyck reported he contracted covid-19 just a month before camp.

“It was right around the time when I started feeling camp-ready,” Hellebuyck said as the Jets skated for the first time, Thursday. “And I was really excited about where the summer was heading. And then I got it and it set me back two weeks. My symptoms were a very bad headache, really bad fatigue. I felt like I couldn’t really move a whole lot.”

At the time Helle was unvaccinated but said he started to feel like himself again after about 10 days.

“I’m not anti-vax by any means,” Hellebuyck said. “But I’d like to have that decision for myself. It felt very forced on me. I had just gotten COVID and gotten over it, and then I had to get the vax. Which made me feel like I had COVID all over again.”

Every person has their own personal reasons for getting vaccinated or not getting vaccinated but I wonder why Helle waited to get vaccinated so close to training camp?  Based on this information, Helle would have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is only a single jab or he wouldn’t have been able to travel to Canada.  Something about this seems a little off to me.  Like I said, what was he waiting for?   

9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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10. Jets:  Just when the Winnipeg Jets get bigger and tougher with Brenden Dillon and Logan Stanley.  All kidding aside, enforcement of this rule is long overdue but I’ll believe it when I see it.  I have no doubt it will be enforced early on but talk to me at playoff time.  

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11. NHL:  The NHL has completed its gambling investigation of ex-Jet Evander Kane and says it has found no evidence that the San Jose Sharks forward bet on his own games.

12. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets played their first pre-season game last night and lost 3-2 to the Ottawa Senators.  Both teams dressed a roster with mostly prospects along with the mandated 8 legit NHL players.  It was the first game of the pre-season so it’s not the time for overreacting to the positive or the negative.  The veteran players really stood out and a few of the young kids made decent impressions as well.  Newcomers Riley Nash and Brendan Dillon look like great new additions while young players like Jansen Harkins, Cole Perfetti, David Gustafsson, and Ville Heinola looked promising.  I would have liked to have seen a little more from Kristian Vesalainen and Evgeny Svechnikov but they both had their moments while Eric Comrie has some work to do to change my opinion of him. 

13. Jets:  The line of Andrew Copp, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Nikolaj Ehlers looked formidable last night and they could end up starting the year together but Copp’s lack of finishing skill shows why he is a good third-line winger and not a top-six winger.  You can try a put lipstick on a pig but underneath it’s still a pig.  

14. NHL:  Ex-Jet Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks now faces sexual assault and domestic violence allegations, according to court documents.  

The San Jose Sharks say Evander Kane will not participate in training camp until further notice, in light of recent allegations that they take “very seriously.”

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are 6-1  after their bye week and hold a one-game lead over Saskatchewan going into their game versus BC on Friday night.

16.  Jets:  It was nice and it felt a little strange seeing fans in the stands last night.

*

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Aug. 30

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:  It was very quiet in Jetsville this week but Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers was been busy playing for Denmark in the final Olympic Hockey Qualifying Tournament.  Denmark went 3-0 in their group after defeated Norway 2-0  yesterday and have qualified for the 2022 Olympic Games.  Ehlers scored the clinching goal in the third period to cement the win.  Nik had 5 goals and four assists for nine points in the tournament. 

2. NHL:  It looks like the Carolina Hurricanes are trying to get a little revenge on the Montreal Canadiens by offer sheeting Jesperi Kotkaniemi.  This is definitely payback for the Sebastian Aho offer sheet from two summers ago.  I’m not sure the Habs match this offer and just take the 1st and 3rd round picks as compensation.  The offer sheet is 1 year for $6.100,000 The Habs have seven days to match the offer.  Stay tuned.

3. Team Canada:  I realize that it was just a preliminary round game and that these rosters are still in transition but I don’t ever remember the Canadian women dominating Team USA like they did this past week in their 5-1 victory.  The Americans looked slow and disorganized but I’m not buying it.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them play again when the real shooting starts this week.

UPDATE:

Team Canada and Team USA both won their semi-final games on Monday and will now face each other Tuesday night for the GOLD MEDAL.

4. Jets:  With the focus now off the Jets blueline I look at the forwards and see opportunities for Jansen Harkins, Kristian Vesalainen and David Gustafsson.  It is time for these kids to claim their spots in the lineup.  Tick-tock. 

5. NHL:  The NHL sent a memo updating vaccination requirements to its teams:

“Any person whose job, role, position or access entails or entitles them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.”  

The first thought that came to mind was why is everybody involved with the teams required to be vaccinated with the exception of the players?  This makes ZERO sense to me.  Then this got me wondering if I would want to know which players on my team weren’t vaccinated and how I would feel about them if I knew? 

Would you want to know the vaccination status of your favourite teams players and would it change how you feel about them?

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6. Jets:  Manitoba Moose forward Marko Dano has also been busy this off-season trying to help Slovakia qualify for the Olympics.  Slovakia won their group and are now qualified for the 2022 Olympic Games.  Dano’s status for this upcoming season is unknown but I hope he is back with the Moose.    

7. Team Canada:  Marie-Philip Poulin was injured Tuesday while blocking a shot to her upper chest/neck area while killing a penalty versus Switzerland.  I would like somebody to explain to me what the hell Marie-Philip Poulin was doing on the ice killing a penalty in a 5-0 game in the third period?  

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8. Jets:  It’s about a month to training camp boys and girls and I wonder what the protocols will be to watch the Jets at the Bell MTS Iceplex?     

9. NHL:  If you think about the Kotkaniemi offer sheet, he really gave a big middle finger to the Habs organisation by signing a one-year deal.  They have seven days to match it or take the compensation of a 1st and 3rd pick.  I wouldn’t match it, he’s not worth $6,100,000 and to make matters worse whoever ends up getting him has to qualify him at this amount next off-season.  That’s insanity.  If I’m Marc Bergevin I wait right until the last minute before telling Jesperi to stick it. 

10. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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11. NHLBack to the Kotkaniemi signing, the Hurricanes may have inadvertantly screwed themselves.  The Canes have to sign Martin Necas to a new deal next season and their camp must be licking their lips looking at the Kotkaniemi offer.  Maybe Marc Bergevin will keep it interesting and offer-sheet Necas this off-season.  Fun times.

12. Jets:  Upcoming events.

Sept. 26 – First pre-season game vs Ottawa.

Oct. 13 – First regular-season game at Anaheim.

Oct. 21 – Home opener vs Anaheim.

13. NHL:  The biggest buzzword I hear when talking about player salaries is “comparables” and in my opinion, a lot of the comparables player agents and media members use don’t always match up.  There are many things that factor into comparables like even strength points, PP points, match-ups, icetime etc etc plus you need to factor in market adjustments like cost of living and taxes.  Comparing salaries in different markets is tough.  I’m not sure who came up with full salary exposure but it has been the NHLPA’s best friend.      

14. IIHF:  Just an FYI here for those of you that didn’t know but Nik Ehlers dad, Heinz, is the head coach of Team Denmark.

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers record improved to 3-1 after defeating Calgary 18-16 Sunday night at IG Field.  Andrew Harris scored the Bombers’ only touchdown and looked pretty good in his first game in what seems like an eternity.  The bad news is the secondary was exposed again and is definitely the weak link on this team.  Kicker Marc Liegghio had a strong game although he missed a convert and missed his attempt at the game winning field goal but caught a break when the Bombers were penalized for a time count violation.  After moving back 10 yards he split the uprights right down the middle from 45 yards.  Final thought, the Bombers 3-1 record might be fools gold and Richie Hall will need a better game plan on defence or Cody Fajardo will have a field day the next two weeks.  I have a feeling the LDC is going to be ugly.          

 

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 27

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

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

[Read more…]

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