Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Dec. 5

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. [Read more…]

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 24

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 Winnipeg Jets didn’t have a great week going 1-3 but they did play some good hockey in every game but just not for 60 minutes.  They have gone stretches playing the type of game Rick Bowness wants but it hasn’t been consistent although encouraging.  The Jets have another tough week with four games with three on the road.  Their record currently sits at 2-3-0. 

2. Jets:  On one of the Avalanche goals Wednesday night the puck was just inside the Jets’ blueline and Scheif couldn’t quite get it out but instead of KC being there to help he blew the zone and the puck ended up in our net.  You just can’t do that crap after a long shift and especially against the Nathan MacKinnon line.  KC should have been there to help get the puck out and live to fight another shift.  These are the little things the Jets need to be better at.        

3. Jets:  I’ve really liked the Jets play 5v5, for the most part this season but it is like watching a bad re-run the way the special teams are killing them.  It is early in the season but the Jets are in the bottom third in both categories in the NHL.

4. Jets:  There is never a good time to be without one of your top players but there couldn’t be a worse time to be without Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers right now for the Jets?  With the team having a new coach, a new system, a tough opening schedule, and trying to win back the fans they’ve lost, the Ehlers injury doesn’t help.    

5. Jets:  If I was being honest right now I’d rather have Jacob Trouba instead of Neil Pionk and Ville Heinola.

Who would you rather have right now?

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6. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose are off to a nice start with a 4-0-1-0 record after 5 games.  Janzen Harkins is playing well and the Moose are getting contributions up and down the lineup.  Like I said a couple of weeks ago, they will be a fun team to watch this season.

7. Jets:  I like the options the Winnipeg Jets now have on their 4th line, it took 12 years to figure it out but I believe the Jets have finally got it right.

8. ICE:  The Canadian Hockey League announced their Week 1 edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2022-23 season.  The Winnipeg ICE are still ranked #1 in the CHL with an 11-1-0 record.  The ICE have one more road game left after having to play their first thirteen games on the road.  The ICE are off to a very impressive start to their season and are on a mission. 

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 3

as of Oct. 19 

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. Sherbrooke Phoenix
3. Quebec Remparts
4. Seattle Thunderbirds
5. Portland Winterhawks
6. Gatineau Olympiques
7. Kamloops Blazers
8. Mississauga Steelheads
9. Ottawa 67’s
10. Red Deer Rebels
HM. Windsor Spitfires
HM. Halifax Mooseheads
HM. Everett Silvertips

9. Jets:  The play that Cole Perfetti made on PLD’s goal on Saturday night was a glimpse into the future of his game.  Perfetti is going to put up huge assist numbers if he doesn’t end up in a body bag from all the hits from behind he takes. 

10. JetsBrendan Dillon is slowly becoming my favourite defenceman on the Jets.  He is a better skater and puck handler than I remember when he was with Washington and San Jose and he makes a lot of punishing hits without taking himself out of the play and he’ll drop the gloves.  My kind of player.

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11. Jets:  This week’s Random Thoughts got hijacked by my hatred of NHL officiating and the Toronto Maple Leafs.  I know it’s low-hanging fruit but they both make it so easy.  

12. Jets:  I would like to see Jets PP#1 try Adam Lowry as their net-front presence and encourage more shots from the point, no matter who the defenceman is.  They all shoot the puck well enough to make it work.  I’m already sick of the over-passing.  The Jets need more traffic in front of the eyes of opposing goaltenders.

13. Jets:  It only took me 3 weeks into the season to start venting about the NHL officiating.  The interference call on Josh Saturday night was a real weak and the Leafs getting a PP after Perfetti gets hit from behind was a joke.  At times, NHL officiating can take the enjoyment out of watching their games.  If I didn’t bet on games or wasn’t involved in hockey pools or have this website,  I’m not sure I’d watch as much as I do.  NHL officiating is getting worse instead of better and it’s not just me that sees it.

This is PLD’s way of saying the officiating was dog shit without getting fined.


14. Jets:  I don’t usually pay attention to the broadcast crew on most nights BUT Craig Simpson made me want to puke during the HNIC broadcast Saturday night.  He has his head so far up the Leafs nation’s ass that it was embarrassing. 

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

Cole Perfetti was hit from behind AGAIN and I believe that is 4 times in 5 games.  I’m wondering if it is time to start complaining to the league and lobbying for suspensions on these hits.  At this rate, Perfetti won’t last till American Thanksgiving. 

16. Jets:  Saturday night’s Jets game made me wonder how Toronto would react to playing in the Central Division with teams like Dallas, St. Louis or Minny.  The Leafs actually called up Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford from the AHL so they could have them in their lineup versus the big, bad, Jets.  News flash, the Jets haven’t been big or bad for quite some time. 

17. Jets:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly this past week.

  • Good:  A glimpse of what they are going to be under Rick Bowness.  
  • Bad:  Broken record but the PP and PK.   
  • Ugly:  David Rittich’s free pizza to Jack Eichel on Thursday night.  

18. Jets: Neil Pionk is turning into a mini version of Dustin Byfuglien, an adventure in both ends of the ice.  Pionk has started off the season very well offensively and if he can continue to put up decent numbers in the o-zone maybe we can forgive some of his lapses in the d-zone.  That ripper in OT versus Colorado was a thing of beauty but his play in front of HELLE was butt ugly.   

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  2-2-0 … 2.75 GAA … .915 SV%  
  • David Rittich:  0-1-0 … 4.23 GAA … .871 SV%

 20. Jets:  Logan Stanley watch:  Since big Stan seems to be a lightning rod in this market so I think I’ll keep a closer eye on him early on this season.  I  didn’t notice glaring mistakes last week and I thought he played fairly well in the Toronto game.     

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: May 2

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 played three games this past week and won all three giving them a record of 39-32-11 on the season.  It took them all year but they finally put together a 4-game winning streak.  Mercifully this frustrating season is over.   

[Read more…]

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 12

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:  After more post-season reflecting, I recall there was a lot of talk about how Montreal’s bigger defencemen outmuscled and out-worked the Winnipeg Jets forwards in the North Division Final and how maybe the Jets should look at their defence getting bigger.  I must confess that I occasionally fall into this narrative as well BUT maybe it was a case of Montreal’s forwards playing bigger and scrappier than our forwards. 

The skilled Jets forwards like to score off the rush and tend to play a perimeter game but they don’t really excel in the trenches.  I wouldn’t mind more Brendan Gallagher or Brady/Matthew Tkachuk types in our forward group.    

2. Jets:  The Seattle Kraken expansion draft protection lists are tentatively due in less than a week and Chevy is now under the microscope.  What will he and the Winnipeg Jets do?

Poll Question:  Should Kevin Cheveldayoff cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don’t lose a player off their roster in the expansion draft? 

In the 2017 Vegas expansion draft the Jets and Vegas cut a deal where the Golden Knights would select Chris Thorburn’s expiring contract.  In the deal they flip-flopped 1st rounders with Winnipeg acquiring the 24th pick (from Vegas, from Columbus) in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for the 13th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and the Jets third-round selection in 2019. 

FYI:  If the Jets don’t cut this deal with Vegas they might have taken Nick Suzuki instead of trading down and getting Kristian Vesalainen.  It’s too early to call this deal but the early returns certainly favour Suzuki. 

Will Chevy or should Chevy cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don't lose a player in the expansion draft?

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3. Jets:  I was looking at some of the potential defencemen that could be available for Seattle in the expansion draft and it looks like an expansion team is going to end up with better defencemen than the Winnipeg Jets.  How frustrating.   

4. Jets:  Maybe the Jets will get lucky and some team will send Andrew Copp an offer sheet.  Based on his perceived market price he could net the Jets a 1st and a 3rd round pick?  I would rather have the picks than overpay a 3rd liner.

Offer Sheet (AAV) Compensation:

  • $1,395,053 or below: None
  • Over $1,395,053 to $2,113,716: 3rd round pick
  • Over $2,113,716 to $4,227,437: 2nd round pick
  • Over $4,227,437 to $6,341,152: 1st, 3rd round picks
  • Over $6,341,152 to $8,454,871: 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks
  • Over $8,454,871 to $10,568,589: (2) 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks
  • Over $10,568,589: (4) 1st round picks

5. Jets:  I find it amusing that Colorado Avalanche fans and some of their media were complaining that their blueline was to small and are vulnerable to teams with a heavy forecheck.  I’m pretty sure most Jets fans would trade our defencemen for theirs in a heartbeat.  I know I would.  Hell, I’d trade our whole d-corp for Cale Makar.    

6. NHL:  I don’t have any ill will towards the Tampa Bay Lightning but I understand why some hockey fans hate them.   

7. Jets:  Although I like both Mason Appleton and Logan Stanley I’m not going to lose any sleep if one of them gets selected by Seattle on July 21.    

8. JetsI know I’m hard on Kyle Connor BUT I do realize his importance to the Winnipeg Jets.  He has an excellent offensive skill-set.  I still have hope he can improve his compete level and improve his defensive game BUT I am opposed to trading him for defensive help.  Scoring is hard to replace.  I would prefer it if Keven Cheveldayoff improved our back-end through free agency even if it means overspending.  Like I always say, “it’s adding a free player to your roster and all it costs you is money”.

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9. NHLThe part of Tampa being over the cap that everybody overlooks is with Nikita Kucherov being on LTIR they were able to trade for guys and take on salary that they would have not normally be able to do without having to worry about being over the cap in the playoffs.  Even though they didn’t technically violate and cap rules in the CBA, I’m sure they violated the spirit of the rules.  (see#6)       

10. NHL:  If you want honesty from a player in a ZOOM call just make sure they’ve had 5 or 6 beers like Nikita Kucherov did this past Wednesday.  Instant classic.  Montreal fans are counting the days until they play Tampa at home to let him have it.

11. Jets:  I think the Jets will protect Dylan DeMelo in the upcoming expansion draft, he works well with Josh Morrissey and they are a solid pairing.  The problem is they would be our top pairing but they are not a #1 unit.  Josh can be a #2 guy with the right partner like Jacob Trouba but with DeMelo they would be a very solid 2nd pairing on a contending team.  Chevy needs to upgrade our top pairing.    

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • 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:  Are Paul Maurice’s or Kevin Cheveldayoff’s jobs in jeopardy?

After the first round sweep of Edmonton it looked like Pomo and Chevy were safe.

After being swept in the second by Montreal, Pomo and Chevy are back under the microscope.   

After being swept in the second round by Montreal should heads roll?

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14. NHLCorey Perry has just played in back-to-back SC finals and although he didn’t win in either final he was a solid contributor to Dallas’s and Montreal’s run to the finals.  Say what you want about Perry but for a fourth-line guy on a bargain basement contract he was money well spent.  I’d rather have him than Trevor Lewis or Nate Thompson and I’d rather have him on the 2nd PP unit instead of Mason Appleton or Andrew Copp.    

15. CFL:  Great to see Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ training camp open.

GO BOMBERS GO    

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

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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.

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

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