Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Nov. 7

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: July 26

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. 

UPDATE:

Jets have tendered qualifying offers to the following pending RFAs:

F – Andrew Copp
D – Johnathan Kovacevic
D – Neal Pionk
D – Logan Stanley

1. Jets:  So the Seattle Kraken expansion draft has come and gone and after all the pissing and moaning we lost Mason Appleton just like everybody hoped and wanted AND Chevy didn’t have to waste any assets cutting a side deal.  

POLL RESULTS:

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?

(53%, 117 Votes)

No. The Jets have plenty of depth and can afford to lose one player.

(24%, 53 Votes)
No. Use that asset in the off-season in a trade to upgrade the team.

(9%, 20 Votes)
Yes. Because the Jets are loyal to a fault.

(7%, 16 Votes)
No. The idea of an expansion draft is to stock the new team, not circumvent the process.

(6%, 14 Votes)
Yes. I don’t want to lose anyone of this team.

2. NHL:  It looks like NHL GMs did actually learn from their Vegas expansion mistakes this time around.  Vegas would have had a decent team but it was their “side deals” that really set them up for future success. 

3. Jets:  I wonder if Chevy will offer Andrew Copp to Seattle for Vince Dunn?     

4. NHL:  It’s that time of the year where you could possibly see an NHL team look at sending an offer sheet to a pending RFA.  I won’t hold my breath because there are actually more Loch Ness Monster sightings than there are NHL offer sheets but if there is the compensation is listed below.

FYI – 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:  Did Kevin Cheveldayoff actually get lucky not losing Dylan DeMelo or did he know which way Ron Francis was leaning based on their conversations?  Guess what, we’ll never know but it worked.       

6. NHL:  Huge news that affects Cole Perfetti and the Winnipeg Jets/Manitoba Moose.   

7. Jets:  Would the Jets be smart to move on from Paul Stastny and gamble on Cole Perfetti in their top six?  


8. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets most pressing off-season need is to ugrade their blueline and with the free agency silly season starting this Wednesday I always hold on to the hope that Chevy will make a bit of a splash and sign a couple signifigant UFAs and not the usual 4th line forwards and the less than bottom pairing defencemen.  I’m not expecting a Dougie Hamilton but it would be nice to add someone like Nikita Zadorov (LD) who is an RFA that only made $3,200,000 last season.  I wonder if he is on Chevy’s radar?  Other UFAs that interest me are Brandon Montour (RD), David Savard (RD), Jake McCabe (LD), or even local boy Travis Hamonic (RD).

UPDATE:

The Winnipeg Jets have traded a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft for defenceman Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals. 

UFA season starts on Wednesday. Will Chevy ...

View Results

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UPDATE:

Jets Acquire defenceman Nate Schmidt from the Vancouver Canucks for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. 

9. NHLThe Montreal Canadiens were the toast of the town after a terrific playoff run and they pissed away all that good will in one fell swoop with their brain dead selection of Logan Mailloux on Friday night.  What the hell was Marc Bergevin thinking?   

10. Jets:  2021-22 Schedule

 

11. Jets:  Ex-Jet Shane Doan had a proud moment on Saturday when his son Josh was drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in the second round, 37th overall.  As a Yotes fan I really love this pick.     

12. NHL:  Key dates.  Times a MB time.

  • July 27:  Qualifying offers due to restricted free agents.
  • July 28:  Free agency opens at 11 am.

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. 

Now Chevy and Pomo are both under scrutiny for the Seattle expansion protection list. 

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

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14. NHLAnti-vaxer injury report.  UBI (upper body injury) Brain   

15. Jets:  I’m okay with Chevy bringing back Mathieu Perreault for another season but that is it and that includes Paul Stastny unless he takes a major pay cut.  For what it’s worth there are rumours that Paul Stastny and the Winnipeg Jets are talking about a contract extension.   

UPDATE:

The Winnipeg Jets and Paul Stastny have agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.750,000

I can’t say I hate this deal because I actually love it.  Stastny adds a lot to this team on the ice and just as much off the ice.  A very solid signing with perfect term.  

16. NHL:  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the teams that play in states without state taxes have an unfair advantage over the other US based teams and all the Canadian based teams.  With free agency opening on Wednesday myself and fans of other Canadian teams get frustrated by Canadian players not wanting to play in their home country.  The NHL and the NHLPA need to come up with some sort of formula to level the playing field.  While I’m at it lets do away with no movement clauses.  

17. Jets:  The Jets made some interesting selections from Russia and it is quite obvious they weren’t really comfortable drafting players that didn’t play last season, hence the three picks out of the Russian leagues.        

18. NHL:  I love Seattle fans already, in their first introduction to Gary “Count Chocula” Bettman they booed him like a seasoned fan base.  Well done Kraken fans, well done.  

19: Jets:  Fingers crossed for tomorrow everyone.  C’mon Chevy.

20: Jets:  This is something that I never thought would come out of my mouth but going in Wednesday’s “Free Agent Frenzy” the “Summer of Chevy” is off to a pretty good start.  (see #8 and #15)

 

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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Winnipeg Jets Fans: You Pick Your Team

Hey Winnipeg Jets fans.  It’s your team, you pick it.  Everybody has their favourites and their whipping boys so take this opportunity to pick your Jets team for next season.

[Read more…]

Winnipeg Jets Options and Thoughts For Next Season

Winnipeg Jets changes and possible improvements –

I would like to see the Winnipeg Jets start developing more players on their roster and if that means 4th line deployment so be it.  Roster blocking young players like David Gustafsson, Ville Heinola, Jansen Harkins, and Kristian Vesalainen for aging veterans like Nate Thompson, Trevor Lewis, and Jordie Benn makes no sense. 

Paul Maurice gets criticized for leaning on his aging vets but if Chevy keeps enabling him by signing and/or trading for these types of players Paul Maurice will continue to play them.  So, who is really to blame? 

To be fair I thought Lewis and Thompson did a pretty decent job on the fourth line BUT did they really move the needle enough and were they difference makers?  Hell no.

A fourth line of Gustafsson, Harkins, Vesalainen/Perreault could have probably done the same job while earning valuable experience. 

New vision:  Coaching 

Based on Mark Chipman’s history of loyalty I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the Winnipeg Jets will keep the status quo and Kevin Cheveldayoff and Paul Maurice will be back next season, but how long is their leash?  I feel both should be on a short leash but probably more so the coach. 

This team is in dire need of a new system.  Paul Maurice needs to implement a system that doesn’t revolve around Connor Hellebuyck facing the most high danger chance in the league and having to make 30 plus saves a every night. 

The system is problematic.  This hybrid man to man system and chasing their check all over the defensive zone looks confusing and it is not working.  Too many players have their backs to the puck while following a man who isn’t a threat.  Maybe this group can’t execute it, whatever, it is not working.

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Paul Maurice’s biggest problem is his infatuation with 35-year-old plugs, he needs to start teaching and trusting the younger players in the organisation.  It was a criminal that Ville Heinola and David Gustafsson were in the AHL and Jansen Harkins was used so sparingly.

Today’s young players are different than young players 20 years ago.  Some of these kids are already playing prominent roles 2-3 years into the league and a lot of them are NHL ready coming right out of junior or college.  Some only need only a half season at the AHL level.  Paul Maurice needs to adapt his thinking on the organisation’s youth.

New vision:  GM

I’m tend to be harder on the GM than I am on the coach but I will concede that Kevin Cheveldayoff might have one of the hardest jobs in the NHL.  Chevy has to contend with no movement clauses, warm weather franchises, and teams that play in States with no State Taxes.  Jets fans were clamoring for him to sign UFA Alex Pietrangelo last summer but was there ever a chance he could have lured Alex Pietrangelo to Winnipeg?  HELL NO.

Of course I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors but Chevy has to be more pro-active and set his sights on trade targets and latch on to him/them like a dog on a bone.  Waiting and hoping for prices to drop around the trade deadline isn’t working.  Overpay if need be, especially if you’re getting the man you want. 

Winnipeg’s fans are smart enough and will understand that’s the price of doing business in this market.  Chevy is a typical Winnipeger, trying to get things wholesale and shopping from the bargain bin.  Enough of the Thompsons, Bitettos, Letestus, and Bourques.

Toronto and Montreal signed older veterans players like Jason Spezza, Cory Perry, and Eric Staal but they were front-line players in their prime not career 4th-liners.  That kind of veteran depth is acceptable and especially at playoff time.

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When it comes to free agency the only way to attract big time free agents is to throw money at them.  It doesn’t cost you assets from your roster, it’s only money.  Yes, this will be tough with a flat cap but so be it.  Figure it out.  If you think a player will move the needle on your roster go get him. 

This might be perceived as a naive notion but the status quo isn’t working.  There isn’t one team that’s ever won a Stanley Cup by just drafting and developing.  D and D is a big part of building a championship team along with trades that improve the team using picks and prospect currency then and augmented with significant UFA signings.  This is a must and Kevin Cheveldayoff has a marginal grade in his trading and and a losing grade in his UFA acquisitions. 

Next season’s roster:

We don’t know who we are protecting and/or losing to Seattle in the expansion draft so let’s just go with what we know now.  Same with trade and UFA targets.  I’ll throw a couple names out there just for conversation.    

 Untouchables: 

  • Connor Hellebuyck 
  • Nikolaj Ehlers
  • Mark Scheifele

Almost untouchable:

  • Pierre-Luc Dubois
  • Ville Heinola
  • Cole Perfetti
  • Dylan Samberg
  • Adam Lowry
  • Kyle Connor … I would be open to shopping him and reinvesting that money. $7,142,857 for 5 more seasons is a lot of money for a one dimensional player that is a defensive liability AND disappears when the games get heavy.  In saying this he is still a very good offensive player and maybe he matures and develops/improves his 200 foot game.  Either way he is still a prime asset.
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UFA targets: 

  • Dougie Hamilton … I’m dreaming but offer him $9,000,000 – $10,000,000.
  • Brandon Montour
  • Mike Reilly
  • Adam Larsson
  • David Savard
  • Jamie Oleksiak

Trade Targets:

  • Seth Jones … with the intention of extending, sign and trade. (I’m not buying into his poor analytics)
  • Josh Manson 
  • Mattais Ekholm … with the intention of extending, sign and trade.   

Lose one to Seattle and/or move and reinvest these dollars:

  • Blake Wheeler … overpaid at $8,250,000 for 3 more seasons but I don’t think he is done yet.   
  • Josh Morrissey … $6,250,000 for 7 more seasons … although I’m fine with bringing him back.
  • Mason Appleton
  • Sami Niku

Re-sign: 

  • Andrew Copp (26-RFA) … if he he doesn’t price himself out of the market. 
  • Laurent Brossoit (28- UFA) … Michail Berdin isn’t ready yet.
  • Neal Pionk (25-RFA) … no-brainer.

Bring back:

  • Dylan DeMelo … borderline untouchable.
  • Jansen Harkins
  • Logan Stanley … major surprise, made great strides.
  • Kristian Vesalainen 

On the fence:

  • Tucker Poolman (27-UFA) … Wait and see and only resign at depth defenceman money.
  • Paul Stastny (35-UFA) … I might re-sign Stastny but it would need to be at a much reduced number. He would be an excellent mentor for Cole Perfetti.
  • Mathieu Perreault (33-UFA) … I have a lot of time for MP.  Try and re-sign on a two-way contract around $1,000,000 or offer him a position within the org.  I could see him working for TNSE in the future. 

Drop back and kick:

  Thank-you for your service but it is time to play the kids. 

  • Nate Thompson (36-UFA)
  • Trevor Lewis (34-UFA)
  • Jordie Benn (33-UFA)
  • Dominic Toninato (27-UFA) … maybe bring him back on a 2-way deal. (UPDATE: Resigned for 2 years)
  • Derek Forbort (29-UFA)
  • Nathan Beaulieu … one more year left at $1,250,000. Should be a buyout candidate but won’t be.

Final thought:

After the dust settles and we analyze this Winnipeg Jets team there is still a lot to like.  It is far, far from a perfect team but it is definitely fixable. 

Paul Maurice needs to adapt and Kevin Cheveldayoff will need to have the best off-season in his tenure as Winnipeg’s GM because next year in the Central Division will be no picnic.  

Colorado, St. Louis, and Minnesota will probably be in the top 3 with improving teams like Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, and Arizona knocking on the door as well.

Readers thoughts:

Please fire off the names of some trade targets and UFAs you would like to see here.  I listed a couple off the top of my head but there is many more options out there.

Post or reply in the comment section.

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Why The Winnipeg Jets Should Protect Mason Appleton

Protect Mason Appleton?

Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets will have a tough time trying to decide who to protect as we head closer to the NHL’s Seattle Expansion Draft.  The expansion draft options for Chevy and the Winnipeg Jets are to either protect seven forwards, three defencemen and a goalie or, they can protect eight skaters and one goalie. [Read more…]

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