Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: June 17

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in sports – 

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 Blue Bombers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Winnipeg Goldeyes, Toronto Raptors, all curlers from Manitoba, and all Canadian athletes competing on the international stage. 

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.  Raptors:  The Toronto Raptors are NBA CHAMPIONS!   

2.  Jets:  I’ll be shocked if I’m not writing about or commenting on a Jacob Trouba trade in this space next week. 


The Winnipeg Jets acquired defenceman Neal Pionk and a first-round draft pick, 20th overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenceman Jacob Trouba.  The 20th pick was the one they sent to the Rangers in the Kevin Hayes deal so if you break down both trades the net result was Brendan Lemieux and Jacob Trouba for Neal Pionk, a 5th round pick and Kevin Hayes for a couple of months.


At first glance, the return doesn’t look very good but after thinking about it, it’s not awful.  I have only seen Pionk play a handful of times and I thought he was a pretty good puck mover but he isn’t close to Trouba in the defensive zone.  I think what might have hampered Chevy was Kurt Overhardt’s reluctance to let other teams try and talk contract with Jake.  It looks like there is no way Trouba signs a longterm deal in New York and his goal is to become a UFA in July of 2020.  Don’t be surprised in the Rangers move him at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline.  

My only question is why today and not closer to the draft OR right at the draft?  It looks like Chevy really wanted a first rounder on Friday night.  I still think there were better deals out there but I guess now we’ll never know. 

On the upside, we have something to do now on Friday night seeing we got our pick back.

Pros:  Cap relief and a draft pick Friday night.

Cons:  Jets gave up the best player in the deal.  I always like the best player versus the unknown.

OVERALL GRADE:  C  (with a chance to go up)

PS:  There is a narrative going around that Jacob Trouba held all the cards and would only agree to be traded to a couple of teams.  THIS IS FALSE!  Jacob Trouba being an RFA has no non-movent rights or clauses.  Chevy could have traded him anywhere he wanted to.  The talk is the Trouba camp did list Detroit and Florida as the two teams he would talk contract with which is a far cry from a no-trade list.   

3.  Blue Bombers:  Winnipeg 33 – BC 23 –  The “Big Blue” spoiled the debut of BC’s prize free agent, Mike Reilly, with a solid workmanlike effort by Matt Nichols and the grinding play of Andrew Harris.  Kick in a solid effort by their defense and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers started off the season on the right foot.    

4.  Jets:  What do the Winnipeg Jets need in return for Jacob Trouba? 

Since a Jacob Trouba Trade looks inevetable, what is on your wish list in return?

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Based on #2 it looks like option three is the closest result.  I don’t think I would consider Pionk a “top tier” prospect BUT he is an NHL roster player.  Let’s wait and see.

Now that the Jacob Trouba deal is done, what do you think?

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5.  NHL:  Thank goodness it is over.  The St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup and I guess they were the best of two evils.  I could never in any way, shape, or form cheer for a team with Brad Marchand on it.  

6.  LPGA:  On Sunday just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Canada’s Brooke Henderson made history in winning her NINTH LPGA event making he the winningest professional golfer in Canadian history.  Brooke surpassed the eight wins of the great Sandra Post, George Knudson, and Mike Weir before she hit her 22nd birthday.  She is truly amazing and with her sister Brittany on the bag, make one helluva team.

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7.  PGA:  Brooks Koepka made a valiant effort for the three-peat at the US Open at Pebble Beach last week but he had to settle for second place as Gary Woodland was the winner.  Woodland was solid all week and full value for in his three-shot win.      

8.  Raptors:  Kawhi Leonard went “Kawhietly” about his business while leading the Raptors to their first NBA title and he now has the distinction of being the ONLY player to win an NBA Finals MVP in both conferences.  Suck it Lebron!        

9.  Question for Chevy:  Are you finished screwing around and signing all these minor-leaguers that will NEVER see a Jets uniform and focus on the big club?  I’m sure Zinger could have taken care of those scrubs.  

10.  PGA:  I don’t like Fox’s golf coverage and it’s mainly because I can’t stand listening to Joe Buck.  All I hear is Dallas Cowboys this and that BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  The eerie thing is that his sidekick in the booth, Paul Azinger, is starting to sound like Troy Aikman.   

11.  Pet Peeve:  They are called “PRE-SEASON”  games, NOT “exhibition games”.  I don’t know why this bugs me so much but it does.  I guess the word exhibition implies something good for me.

12.  Blue Bombers:  Jeff Hecht showed me more in one game than the overrated, slew-footed, Tayor Loffler showed me all last season.

13.  NHL:  Did anybody make a bigger asshat out of himself last week than Brett Hull?  To make matters worse he hit an all-time low with his drunken rendition of Gloria during the Blues victory parade.  What a dick!  

14.  NBA:  Why does Lavar Ball get so much air time?  Why do the sports networks even indulge him?  Do they like it when he says dumb shit?  I think I just answered my own question.  

15.  Important Dates:

June 21:  2019 NHL Entry Draft – First round selections.

June 22:  2019 NHL Entry Draft – Second thru seventh-round selections.

June 23:  The NHL’s interview period for UFAs (unrestricted free agents) to speak to teams other than their own will open at noon ET.  During this period, pending UFAs will be able to meet with prospective teams, but are not permitted to discuss contract details (although they do).

June 26:  The RFA (restricted free agent) contact or interview period opens at noon ET.  During this period, pending RFAs will be able to meet with prospective teams, but are not permitted to discuss contract details (although they do).

June 27:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers home opener vs Edmonton.  

July 1:  NHL’s free agency opens at noon ET.  

If you have any questions for Darryl or myself (Mitch) please give us a shout.  You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.  

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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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