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.



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.   


Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: June 6

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:  I’m feeling lazy this week so I’m borrowing a lot of my thoughts from Twitter. 

[Read more…]

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.

[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…]

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Aug. 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:  I’ve been hearing about this mythical season called “The Summer of Chevy” for a few years now and I think it has finally arrived.  Winnipeg Jets GM, Keven Cheveldayoff had a very productive few days last week. 

  • Monday:  Paul Stastny has agreed to a one-year deal worth $3,750,000.
  • Monday:  The Winnipeg Jets trade 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. 
  • Tuesday:  Jets Acquire defenceman Nate Schmidt from the Vancouver Canucks for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. 
  • Saturday:  Jets sign serviceable bottom-six C/RW Riley Nash to a 1-year, $750,000 deal.   

Kevin Cheveldayoff really changed the look of the Jets blueline with the additions of Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt and the best thing is it didn’t cost him anything off the NHL roster and bringing back Paul Stastny on a one-year deal was a no-brainer.  

After seeing what other GMs were paying for UFA defencemen Chevy definitely went in the right direction.

2. NHL:  Enjoy that six year $5,500,000 per season Philip Danault contract LA Kings.  Free Agent Frenzy, where NHL GMs lose touch with reality.  

3. Jets:  Does anyody actually think that Eric Comrie will last the season as Connor Hellebuyck’s back-up in goal?

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

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4. NHL:  It is officially RFA offer sheet season.  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:  Based on Chevy’s signings last week I’m sure even PoMo can’t screw this up, so the microscope is definitely on Mr. Maurice. Paul, you are on the clock.      

6. NHL:  I have a feeling there may be hockey without fans again in some NHL cities.  I don’t like what’s going on down south with covid 19 and also here in Canada (Alberta).  I sure hope I’m wrong.

7. Jets:  In my very humble opinion I believe in time David Gustafsson can match and exceed what Andrew Copp brings to the table for the Winnipeg Jets.  He just needs a couple seasons under his belt.  If Kurt Overhardt wants to be unreasonable and play hardball then trade Copp’s ass.  If he is willing to do something in the range of Adam Lowry’s contract then welcome back.  If not, take Copp’s money and invest it elsewhere.    

8. Jets:  So long and farewell to Mathieu Perreault.  MP is heading to La belle province to play for the Habs.  I would have liked him re-signing in Winnipeg but who can blame a French-Canadian kid for wanting to play in his home province.  Good luck MP, you were a beauty.

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9. NHLBased on some of the trades made last week it is quite apparent that cap space is a bigger commodity than actual players right now.

Shayne Gostisbehere to Arizona for nothing.

Marc-Andre Fluery to Chicago for nothing.

Tyler Johnson to Chicago for nothing. 

Nate Schmidt to Winnipeg for a 3rd rounder. 

and on and on.

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10. Jets:  This 👇




sure looks better than this 👇 




11. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets have signed Riley Nash to a one-year deal and I beleive he should add a solid defensive presence to the Jets bottom six.  His numbers were brutal in Columbus last season but then who’s weren’t.  Nash is just 3 years removed from a 15 goal, 41 point season with Boston in 76 games.  If Nash can replicate half of that he will be a huge upgrade over Trevor Lewis or Nate Thompson.    

12. IIHF:  I bet everybody probably forgot but the Women’s World Hockey Championships start in Calgary in 3 weeks.  I’m totally down for some August hockey. 


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

Yes … Paul Maurice should be let go. (49%, 159 Votes)
Yes … Paul Maurice and Kevin Cheveldayoff should be let go. (20%, 63Votes)
No … I’m happy with the team’s leadership and direction. (17%, 56 Votes)
No … Sweeping the Oilers bought everybody some time. (14%, 45 Votes)

14. NHLEvander … what are you doing?  Evander Kane was one of my favourite Winnipeg Jets, I loved everything about his game although his alledged off-ice antics were getting tiresome.  Now he is being investigated for betting on NHL games and games he was playing in.  Now, these are accusations from his soon-to-be ex-wife so take this with a grain of salt but with Evander it always seems where there’s smoke there’s fire.  These are serious accusations and I sure hope they are false.

15. Jets:  Before all of GM, Kevin Cheveldayoff’s trades and UFA signings this past week the Winnipeg Jets odds to win the Stanley Cup were +4000 according to  https://www.sportsbettingdime.com/nhl/stanley-cup-odds/ but I wonder what they are now?  Stay tuned.

16. NHL:  Even with a flat cap it looks like the top players are still getting paid while the bottom of the roster players are forced to settle for the scraps if you can call $750,000 scraps.  

17. Jets:  My preference would be to use Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Paul Stastny, and Adam Lowry as our four centers and work from there.  I’m sure Paul Maurice could move Stastny into the top six when he needs to shorten the bench.

18. NHL:  I mentioned last week that I find outsiders that don’t watch your team on a nightly basis really overrate or underrate certain players.  The lastest is Oliver-Ekman Larsson.  Vancouver thinks they are getting OEL from 3-4 years ago but he hasn’t been right for quite some time and the Canucks moved out Nate Schmidt to make room for him.  I’m glad they did because I’d rather have Schmidt.  

19: Jets:  Andrew Copp and Neal Pionk have both elected to file for salary arbitration but both players can continue to negotiate with the team until their arbitration date.  The arbitration hearings will take place between August 11-26.

20: Jets:  Kevin Cheveldayoffs fan approval rating has never been as high as it is right now.  (see #1 and #13)


In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch


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