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: 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.

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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

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 19

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 have released their protected list for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft on Wednesday night.  Discuss amongst yourselves. 

Forwards:

  • Blake Wheeler
  • Mark Scheifele
  • Kyle Connor
  • Nikolaj Ehlers
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois
  • Andrew Copp
  • Adam Lowry

Defencemen:

  • Josh Morrissey
  • Neal Pionk
  • Logan Stanley

Goalie:

  • Connor Hellebuyck

POLL QUESTION:

WHO WILL THE SEATTLE KRAKEN SELECT FROM THE WINNIPEG JETS?

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2. Jets:  Until Seattle actually drafts on Wednesday we will not know who we will lose and what type of side deal (if any) was in place, so why are people freaking out?    

Poll Question:  Should or did 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:  After looking at the other protection lists I’m betting that Seattle selects Mason Appleton from the Jets.     

4. NHL:  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:  Gary Suter was bought out by the Minnesota Wild and if I’m Chevy I’m all over him.  At 36-years-old he still has lots of hockey left in him.  He is a much better option than Derek Forbort or Tucker Poolman in my opinion.  It has been reported that he doesn’t want to play in Canada but maybe the Minnesota Mafia on the Jets roster can convince him.     

6. NHL:  Reports are that pending UFA Phillip Danault is looking for north of 5 mil a year for six years.  Any GM that gives Phillip Danault $5,000,000 for six years should be INSTANTLY fired.  Now in saying that most GMs would have to run a deal like that somewhere up the food chain and the person approving that deal should be fired too and if that somebody is the owner he shouldn’t be involved in hockey decisions. 

7. Jets:  Jets fans obsessing about losing a player in the expansion draft is like watching a bad reality show.  We’re not losing KC or Scheif or Nik or PLD or Helle so relax for crying out loud.  Take a deep breath.

8. Jets:  I was wondering about this at the time.  

9. NHLIn case you were wondering.  This is what the Seattle Kraken’s minimum requirements are for Wednesday night’s expansion draft.

  • The Kraken must select at least 20 players under contract for next season.
  • The contracts for these 20 players must be at least $48,900,000.

10. Jets:  Although I like Dylan DeMelo, Mason Appleton, and Logan Stanley I lived through losing Anders Hedberg, and Ulf Nilsson, then Rich Preston, Terry Ruskowsi, Paul MacKinnon, Kent Nilsson etc, and then a whole NHL team moving to Phoenix  so I’m not going to lose ONE MOMENT of sleep losing one of these guys to Seattle

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11. Jets:  I hope the Winnipeg Jets don’t turn good prospects like Ville Heinola, Dylan Samberg, or David Gustafsson into diminishing assets like they did with Sami Niku and Jack Roslovic.  Prospect currency is valuable so you need to make decisions on them while they still have value.  Chevy has waited to long with Sami Niku and he sold low with Jack Roslovic.  Based on Paul Maurice’s season ending presser it looks like there is no way Ville Heinola, Logan Stanley, or Dylan Samberg will all be in the NHL together any time soon.  I hope we don’t end up giving one or two of them away for squat. 

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

  • July 17:  NHL teams must submit expansion lists to NHL by 4 pm. 
  • July 17:  Trade freeze begins at 2 PM.
  • July 18:  NHL will deliver expansion lists by 9 am, likely made public around that time.
  • July 18:  Seattle can begin “interviewing” impending UFA/RFA’s from teams at this time.
  • July 21:  Seattle must submit it draft selections to the NHL by 9 am.
  • July 21:  2021 NHL Expansion Draft at 7 pm. 
  • July 22:  Trade freeze is lifted at noon.
  • July 23:  Round 1 of the 2021 NHL Draft at 7 pm. 
  • July 24:  Rounds 2-7 of the 2021 NHL Draft at 10 pm.
  • 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. NHL Ex Winnipeg Jets star, Patrik Laine was at it again in a Finnish newspaper last week >>> HERE.

I love Patrik but it looks like he has failed to grasp the concept that when he blabs to the Finnish media it actually finds it way back here in North America.  He was blaming Torts for his poor season but maybe he should look in the mirror and stop blaming everybody else for his play.  He had a run-in with one of his junior coaches, he complained about his usage in Winnipeg and kind of threw a fine hockey player like Bryan Little under the bus, he had an incident with assistant coach Brad Larsen (now the head coach) on the bench last season, and finally had his say about John Tortorella in a Finnish newspaper last week.  I’m still a huge fan of Patrik Laine but I think it is time for him to SHUT HIS MOUTH and GROW UP.  

15. Jets:  Listening to outsiders that talk about the Winnipeg Jets just shows me how little they watch us play.  The takes on our roster are hilarious.  They overrate some of our players while underrating others even more than we do.  One fairly well know outsider that I would consider an “A list” mainstream media member actually said Kyle Conner was a defensively responsible winger.  I’ll just leave it at that.

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: June 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. JetsWith the Winnipeg Jets season over I have started reflecting on this past season and the one thing that really jumps out at me is how far Sami Niku was buried down the Jets depth chart.  I’ve never been one of the fanatic #FreeNiku guys but in my humble opinion he should have played a hell of a lot more than he did in the past two seasons. 

2. Jets:  The Seattle Kraken expansion draft protection lists are tentatively due in approximately 3 weeks 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:  With the Winnipeg Jets winning a round in the playoffs this year I thought their pick would be in the 20s but I was pleasantly surprised they are actually getting the 17th overall selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.  I have a feeling Jets fans will be happy Chevy didn’t piss away this pick for a playoff rental.

 4. NHL:  I guess Gary “Count Chocula” Bettman just passively aggressively let Canadians, the CBC, and Sportsnet know where they stand in the grand scheme of things when the NHL released the schedule for the Stanley Cup Finals.

NOT ONE GAME ON A SATURDAY NIGHT.

A Canadian team in the Stanley Cup Final and no games for Canadians on “Hockey Night in Canada”?  

I guess this is Gary’s punishment for Canada and the Montreal Canadiens for knocking out “HIS” team in Vegas.    

5. Jets:  Watching Vegas struggle with the Habs in the 3rd round made me feel a little bit better about how the Jets lost them.  I thought Vegas or Colorado would demolish whoever came out of the Canadian Division but I was obviously wrong.  That didn’t feel very good coming out of my mouth LOL.     

6. NHL:  I hope Seattle fans aren’t expecting a similar team to what Vegas got in their expansion year.  I don’t think NHL GMs will get duped as bad this time around …. or will they?   

7. Jets:  I know I’m probably in the minority now but I wouldn’t be in a great hurry to part ways with Sami Niku.  Unlike others, I don’t buy into the narrative that Niku had his chance here in Winnipeg.  Defencemen can take longer to hit their stride and players with Niku’s offensive game don’t grow on trees. 

Sami Niku has had some bad luck (car accident) and untimely injuries that have factored into his lack of playing time but I think Paul Maurice has mishandled Niku as well while committing to players like Anthony Bitetto, Nate Beaulieu, Derek Forbort, and Jordy Benn because they can kill penalties.    

Winnipeg’s biggest problem is transition and they are willing to throw away a puck-mover?  Ridiculous.  Sami Niku was the 2017-18 Eddie Shore Award winner as the AHL’s outstanding defenceman and at 24-years-old hasn’t even reached his prime.  I think it would be a huge mistake to give him away for nothing.  (see #1)

8. JetsI wonder how much money the Jets lost this season and I wonder if the NHL or TNSE will release figures to the public?  

9. Jets Pascal Vincent has a new job and its not with the Winnipeg Jets but with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He will be joining Brad Larsen’s staff as an associate coach in charge of the Columbus power play.  I liked him and thought he was a very good coach for the Manitoba Moose.  Did the Jets miss the boat by not promoting him here?  

10. Jets:  I’m sensing there are a more than a few Jets fans that are starting to turn on Mark Scheifele.  This would be a serious mistake in my humble opinion.  Even though we all acknowledge that Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers had an outstanding year and was the team’s best forward this past season, Scheif is still their #1 center and probably one of their most important players along with Connor Hellebuyck.  Say what you want about Mark Scheifele but 21 goals, 42 assists, for 63 points in 56 games is nothing to sneeze at.  

  

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11. Jets:  The more and more I watch the playoffs and see what is going uncalled and being let go without supplemental discipline the more I realize George Parros and the NHL royally screwed Mark Scheifele and the Winnipeg Jets. 

The DOPS (Department of Player Safety) pretended to give a shit and make it look like they were changing their standards by making an example of a star player like Scheifele.  They picked a player in a small market, with a small voice, and outside of Winnipeg, a team that nobody gives a shit about. 

BRAVO GARY, YOU DID IT AGAIN, YOU’VE SCREWED US.  YOU AND THE DOPS ARE A F’N JOKE.        

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • June 2 – NHL Draft Lottery (Buffalo won)
  • 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:  Are Paul Maurice’s or Kevin Cheveldayoff’s jobs in jeopardy?

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

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14. NHLRemember when most hockey experts/fans thought the Habs got ripped off in the PK Subban/Shea Weber trade? 

15. Jets:  Is the 31st or 32nd overall pick really a 1st rounder or for that matter is a pick in the mid-20s a 1st rounder?  Expansion certainly has cheapened the term 1st-rounder.  

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…]

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