Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Sept. 26

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 lost their preseason opener 4-0 in Edmonton last night and it was your typical ugly first game of the preseason with a bunch of wannabees who have no hope in hell of playing in the NHL.  The sad part about that game wasn’t the score but that fans had to pay money to watch it.  FUGLY.  

2. Jets:  There is so much debate about Blake Wheeler in Jetsville so let’s cut to the chase and ask the question.  If you factor in salary, age, and rumours about his leadership, are the Jets a better team with or without Blake Wheeler?

Would the Winnipeg Jets be a better team with or without their former captain?

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3. Jets:  Don’t get me wrong I like Jonathon Kovacevic, Declan Chisholm, and Leon Gawanke but I’m not going to lose 30 seconds of sleep if we lose any of them on waivers.  Chevy knew this was a possibility but yet he still hasn’t thinned the herd and risks losing assets.  I’m tired of obsessing about his management decisions.    

4. Jets:  If I were the coach of a new hockey team I would forget about the scrubs that have no chance of making the big club and play the bubble players and the veterans more in preseason games. (see #1)

5. Jets:  If we all agree that Dominic Toninato is the Jets’ 12th forward and if he makes the opening night roster, has the team improved their forwards?

6. Jets:  A  player that intrigues me is Dmitry Kuzmin.  The Jets 3rd rounder in 2021 put up 44 points in 57 games with the OHL’S Flint Firebirds, including 18 goals.  Not bad for his first season in North America.  Smallish at 5’10 this Belarussian defenceman is a player to keep an eye on. 

7. Jets:  There now seems to be a question of whether 2022 1st round, 30th overall forward Brad Lambert is better off being with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose or the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.  For me, it’s a no-brainer.  It is his first year playing in North America and he’s better off getting lots of icetime and PP time in junior.  I don’t see what the rush is.

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

Are you planning on riding Connor Hellebuyck hard again this season?

9. Jets:  For the record, I think the Jets are a better team with Blake Wheeler.  Say what you want or think what you want but where are his 60 points (minimum) going to come from?

10. Jets:  I like Big Stan but he struggled a bit vs the Oilers on Sunday night, he seemed to have trouble getting his feet moving at times.  Hopefully, this improves as camp goes on but in my opinion he is in tough making the Jets opening night 23-man roster unless Chevy starts moving some defencemen.  You can only have 3 guys in the press box on the popcorn brigade. 

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 27:  Home preseason game #1 vs Ottawa.

October 1:  Home preseason game #2 vs Edmonton.

October 5:  Home preseason game #3 vs Calgary.

13. Jets:  FYI: It’s hard evaluating players in the preseason but I liked the way Declan Chisholm moved the puck last night. 

14. Jets: 

How many games will backup goalie David Rittch start?

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15. Jets:  You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m not a fan of Dominic Toninato.  I admit he works hard but I would rather see players like Morgan Barron, Kristian Reichel, or Jeff Malott get a chance in the #12 spot.  (see #5)

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Sept. 12

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:  We’re in the second week of Sept and I’m surprised how quiet it is around the Winnipeg Jets.  I think we all sense something will eventually happen, but I guess Chevy is waiting for NHL camps to open and get a feel for other teams’ needs.  For me, this is a little risky and it seems like he is playing chicken with the other GMs BUT conversely, it could also lead to a better deal the longer he waits.

2. Jets:  I’m still a little concerned for Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola because they are still waiver-exempt and I’d hate to see them sent down to the Manitoba Moose just because of convenience.  Johnathan  Kovacevic and  Leon Gawanke have to clear waivers to be reassigned to the AHL so the plot thickens.  The glut of extra defenceman could carry on early into the regular season before Chevy makes a move.  Everybody knows Chevy is patient to a fault and he will not give prospects away for anything.

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3. Jets:

How many games will backup goalie David Rittch start?

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4. Jets:  Call me crazy but I think Sam Gagne was brought in to put a little heat on Cole Perfetti for the second-line winger job.

5. Jets:  Well it’s blatantly obvious that Chevy isn’t making any roster decisions on his over-abundance of defenceman until Rick Bowness sees them live and in action during camp and in pre-season games.

6. Jets:  We keep hearing the name Sonny Milano out there as a very affordable option for the Jets and other NHL teams and it makes me wonder why he is still unsigned.  I’ve always thought he was a decent player but in all honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about his overall game or off-ice habits.  

7. Jets:  Since the Jets have hired Sara Orlesky as their new spin doctor she better get to spinning because the Jets fan base is wondering WTF is going on?

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

Are the Jets planning on bringing in players on PTOs or are we just gifting jobs to the incumbents?

9. Jets:  My buddy Ben that lives in Alberta is a monster Jets fan and he texts me every single day and says “c’mon Chevy do something FFS”.  The funny thing is he’s not alone, there are tens of thousands of Jets fans saying the exact same thing every day. 

I guess the fish are still biting at the cottage. 

10. NHL:  I actually like Tim Stutzle as an up-and-coming NHL player but what has he done to rate an eight-year $66, 800,000 deal coming straight out of his ELC contract?  This is the biggest contract in Sen’s history with an 8,350,000 AAV.  WOW      

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. Important Dates:  

September 14:  Winnipeg Jets rookie camp.

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

September 22:  Winnipeg Jets main camp opens.

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 24:  Winnipeg Jets Fanfest.

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Sept. 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.

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this but I would like to send out my condolences to the family and friends of Scott Campbell.  Scott was a Winnipeg Jets 1.0 fan favourite and Twitter legend.  Scott always took time to chat with his many followers and really made their days.  It’s not often an NHL player interacts with a fan base like Scott did.  Scott was a Winnipeg Jet until the day he passed away and he loved the Jets and their fans.  I got to know Scott on a personal basis and he was a very modest, fun guy.  Scott spent some time writing here at WHT and had quite a following.  It seems the good ones leave us too soon and Scott was definitely one of the good ones, he will be missed.  I will always be proud to say you were my friend.  RIP big guy. 

 

 

1. Jets:  Well it’s September so it’s back to work.  If Chevy can take August off why can’t I?  If it’s good enough for Chevy it’s good enough for me.  

2. Jets:   The only major announcement I really missed was the Jets and Mason Appleton avoiding arbitration and agreeing on a contract extension.  Appleton’s contract is a three-year deal with an average annual value of $2,166,667.  Wrapping up Appleton for 3 more years was a solid move, he complements Adam Lowry nicely on the 3rd line.

3. WJC:  While I was away Team Canada won the World Junior Championship in an exciting Gold Medal game but for me, it was a hollow victory with Russia not there and some of the best juniors in the world not available.  Also, the WJHC being played in the summer completely lacked the allure of the tournament over the Christmas holidays.  That being said, a win is a win and I’m not going to complain.

4. Jets:  Last week the Jets made their first semi-meaningful free agent signing of the off-season inking Sam Gagner to a one-year deal.  I don’t mind this signing, at least he’s not the usual unskilled plug Chevy likes signing.  Gagne has a skill set that can be used up and down the lineup and even though this isn’t a blockbuster signing it does move the needle slightly in the right direction.

5. Jets:  Fans are wondering who will be in the Jets’ top 6 forwards.  I think Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers play together and Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor play together with Blake Wheeler and Cole Perfetti on the wings.  Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the new head coach, Rick Bowness get the blender out with all six of these forwards. 

6. Jets: Speaking of the 3rd line, I wonder who gets the LW job playing alongside Adam Lowry and Mason Appleton?  Will it be Jansen Harkins finally claiming a regular spot?  Could it be Morgan Barron who had a decent finish with the jets last season or could it be the newly acquired Sam Gagner?  We will know soon enough.  

7. IIHF:  Speaking of summer hockey tournaments, the Women’s World Hockey Championships concluded this past weekend with a close Gold Medal game with Canada winning 2-1.  But, once again it lacked the allure of winter hockey.  It will be nice to see everything finally get back on schedule again.  

8. Jets:  Whether it is baseball, basketball, football, or hockey, preseason is a time for optimism but there seems to be a lot of pessimism in Winnipeg and I’m not sure that should be the case.  No, they didn’t make any big acquisitions and it seems like it’s the status quote again BUT the biggest change is behind the bench and this could be the most significant change of all.  Before I make any judgements I want to see what Rick Bowness does with this group.   

9. Jets:  On paper, it looks like the Jets should have an improved 4th line with David Gustaffson (if he can stay off the IR), Jansen Harkins, Morgan Barron, Sam Gagne, and Dominic Toninato filling out the bottom 6.  

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

Everyone in the free world knows you’re carrying too many NHL-ready defencemen and you are probably going to move 1 or 2 but isn’t it tough to move guys so close to the start of the season?  It’s probably okay if they don’t live here full time but it does lead to a lot of scrambling just before the season starts for the players and their families.  Conversely, it is pro hockey and part of the business so boo hoo.  Forget about it, I retract the question.

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

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

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12. Important Dates:  

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 24:  Winnipeg Jets Fanfest.

13. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets signed David Gustafsson to a two-year contract with an average annual value in the NHL of $775,000.  This deal is a two-way contract for the 2022-23 season and a one-way contract for 2023-24.  Interesting, I guess the Jets didn’t want Gus to think they were gifting him a job this winter even though everybody knows his Manitoba Moose days a 99% over.

14. Jets: This Winnipeg Jets team has good players and hopefully with a change in coaching philosophy, accountability,  and players having a greater commitment to team defence they can make 2021-22 seem like just a bad memory.  (see #8)  

15. Jets:  Connor Hellebuyck will be the first to admit last season wasn’t his best but I’d never count out a team with a motivated and committed HELLE.  He was inconsistent and not his usual self last year but this off-season his summer regime won’t be interrupted by Covid cutting into his training time.  

16. Jets:  Everything about 2021-22 was a clusterf**k and this season will be the first time since Covid interrupted our lives that there will be some normalcy.  I remain optimistic and still like this Jets team.  It sure beats being miserable and negative.  To the nay-sayers, I say give them a chance you might be pleasantly surprised.  (see # 8 and 15)

17. Jets:  By the way, I don’t think Barry Trotz is out of the Jet’s future plans yet.  It’s just a hunch based on absolutely nothing.

18. Jets:  In an interesting off-ice move, TNSE hired long-time TSN football and hockey personality Sara Orlesky to the Jets family.  Sarah’s title will be Sr. Host/Producer.  Orlesky will provide behind-the-scenes features and player interviews for Jets broadcasts and Jets TV.  Solid hire as everybody loves Sarah.

19. Jets:  Last time I checked the Jets had 10 defencemen under contract with eyes on the NHL roster.  Pitter-Patter Chevy.  (see #10)

20. Jets:  If you’re driving west on Roblin Blvd close to the perimeter look up at the 4th-floor balcony of the condos just to the south of the Shoppers Drug Mart, you’ll see a red maple leaf on the balcony wall and there’s a good chance I’ll be sitting there, honk and wave.

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: April 4

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 lost two of them, so it looks like the jig is up.    

The Jets’ record currently sits at 33-27-10 and they are 5 points behind Dallas and 6 points behind Nashville.   

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 28

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 went 1-2-1 on their 4-game road trip last week and finished the month of February with an underwhelming 5-5-2 record. 

The good guys start off the month with four straight games at home and 10 out 16 in March.    

The Jets record is currently 23-21-9.  They are 6 points behind Dallas for the final wildcard spot and sit sixth in the Central Division. 

The Jets play Montreal on Tuesday and Dallas on Friday.  To say these two games are huge would be a massive understatement.  These two games will could go a long way in determining whether Chevy sells at the deadline.  

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