Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Sept. 24

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.  Jets:  The pre-season is underway and the Winnipeg Jets are 3-1 after their first four games.  It has been a mish-mash of veterans, AHLers, and prospects.  This is when fans start developing opinions and evaluating the options for the 2018-19 Winnipeg Jets roster.  I look at what I would like to happen and then what I think will probably happen. 

Like to happen:  Jack Roslovic to be the second line center. 

What will happen:  He isn’t ready for that gig yet and starts the season on the wing. 

Like to happen:  Sami Niku in the top six defencemen.

What will happen:  He will start the season with the Moose because he is waiver exempt and it’s the safe decision.  

Like to happen:  Tucker Poolman sent to the Manitoba Moose and play a ton of minutes.

What will happen:  Based on his play so far in the pre-season, I think he does get sent to the Moose.  Not factoring in the right-shot/left-shot thing, I feel he is behind Ben Chiarot, Sami Niku, and Joe Morrow right now.  He is waiver exempt so it’s a no-brainer for me. 

Like to happen:  Kristian Vesalainen a top-9 role.

What will happen:  I think he has shown enough to stay with the big club but it all depends on how much Paul Maurice trusts him defensively.  That means Nic Petan and Marko Dano probably draw the short straw.  Vesalainen will definitely be a full-time Winnipeg Jets forward BUT Paul Maurice might want him to get 15-20 games under his belt with the Manitoba Moose first.  I’m okay with that.  Like I’ve said many times, going to the AHL is not a punishment.

2.  CFL:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 31 – Montreal Alouettes 14 … The score kind of flatters the Blue Bombers because this game was still in doubt late in the fourth quarter.  A late interception by Marcus Sayles salvaged the win and ended an ugly four game losing streak.  The Big Blue have not played a complete four quarter game all season and that continued this week versus the Als.  Every team seems to be capable of making half-time adjustments but inexplicably this team doesn’t seem to.  In saying that, I’m sure the coaching staff implement second half adjustments but they are either really bad or aren’t being executed.  Right now this team doesn’t give me and most fans much hope of beating top teams like Edmonton or Calgary.  It looks like another wasted year of Andrew Harris’s prime.

3.  Jets:  I think Logan Stanley has made nice strides since this time last year but he still needs to work a little more on his lateral mobility.  I’m very interested to see how he develops with some time in the AHL.    

4.  Jets:  Why am I seeing all of these mock-up third jerseys in my timeline on Twitter?  Is there a contest on?  Give it a rest already.

5.  Jets:  You know what?  When I’m right, I’m right.  I said multiple times last season that I didn’t like the way the Jets were handling Tucker Poolman.  In my opinion, he hasn’t played enough meaningful hockey in the past couple seasons because of his injured shoulder.  Sitting in the press box eating popcorn and watching the Winnipeg Jets instead of playing 20 minutes a night with the Manitoba Moose is not my idea of “draft and develop”.  I think he has looked awful in the pre-season and in my opinion he is miles behind Ben Chiarot, Sami Niku, and Joe Morrow.   

6.  MLBHave I ever  mentioned how much I hate the long pants players wear.  I love the stocking look.     

7.  Jets:  While the Twitter trolls were fixated on every move Logan Stanley made, I was watching Jack Roslovic because he will actually be on the Winnipeg Jets opening night roster.  In a perfect world, it would be nice to see # 28 between #27 and #29 but I’m not sure Roslo is ready yet AND I’m not sure Bryan Little is a good match for Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers and Patrik Laine.  I think the Jets are running out of center options.  (see #1 and #12)  

8.  Vikings The difference between the CFL and NFL … Last Sunday the Minnesota Vikings kicker missed three field goals and he is released the next day.  Closer to home, our organisation (Blue Bombers) gives out enough rope to stretch from hear to St. Johns, Newfoundland  (I just wanted to say Newfoundland today).        

9.  NHL:  C’mon Max.  I love Max Domi but what was he thinking giving Aaron Ekblad a bloody face when it was obvious Ekblad wanted no part of him?  I’m okay with two guys fighting but only if both guys want to go.  The most shocking part was with the stupid suspension?  Suspended for the rest of the pre-season.  Really?    

10.  Jets:  There is no doubt in my mind that one day and probably sooner than later Sami Niku will be running the Jets PP.  Right now, his offence game looks fine but I think the Jets would like him to tidy up his defensive play a bit.  I predict that Niku will be a full-time Winnipeg Jet by mid-season.   

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11.  Blue Bombers:  Matt Nichols was pretty good overall vs Montreal on Friday night.  He managed the game pretty well and protected the ball like he has done in previous years.     

12.  Jets:  I’m biased when it comes to Nic Petan but why not give him a shot between Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine.  Hell, isn’t that what the pre-season is for? (see #7)

13. PGA:  The Tour Champion is Eldrick “Tiger” Woods.  WOW!  This week was the first time I have I have ever pulled hard for Tiger.  The drought is over after 1876 days.  Lost in the excitement was that Justin Rose needed a birdie on the 18th hole to secure the FedExCup.  It was very enjoyable event.  

14.  Blue Bombers:  Right now the Blue Bomber kick return game is non-existent.   

15:  JetsWhile most of us fans were watching and critiquing Sami Niku, Logan Stanley, and Tucker Poolman, I was wondering if we should be worrying about Jacob Trouba.  He wasn’t very good against the Oilers.  I’m going to write that off to being his first game of the season.  

16.  Ryder Cup:  This week, the best golfers in the United States face off against the best that Europe has to offer in the 42nd Ryder Cup in a suburb southwest of Paris, France called Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.  During promos for the event, there was a clip showing some of the great players from past Ryder Cups and they showed a highlight of Severiano Ballesteros.

I know Seve is revered in most golf circles and this might be sacrilege and I’m probably going to go to hell for saying this BUT I hated his guts!  It’s really hard to hate a golfer but I really really really disliked him.  I’m in deep sheeeeeeet now.      

17.  Blue Jays:  Thursday night the Toronto Blue Jays were trailing the Tampa Rays 8-2 going into the bottom of the ninth and proceeded to stun the Rays with a 7-run outburst.  The win was nice but what I took from the comeback was how much a meaningless win in September excited the players, rookies and veterans alike.  I guess it’s not that meaningless.    

18.  NFL:  Oakland beat Los Angeles 21-3 … what?  That was the Oakland A’s beating the Los Angeles Angels!  The 21 runs the Oakland A’s scored on Thursday night were more points than the Oakland Raiders scored in either of their first two regular season football games.     

19.  Really Really Random Thought:  I was watching a hockey game (surprise, surprise) and a commercial with Jennifer Aniston caught my eye.  I took the time to google how old she was and it turns out she’s 49-years-old.  To be honest, she never did much for me when “Friends” was in its heyday but now (49 years old) she looks hotter than when everyone though she actually was hot back in the day.  That is one fine-looking women.      

20:  Key dates:

  • Sept. 17:  Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets (pre-season)  
  • Sept. 21:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-7) at Edmonton Eskimos (7-6).
  • Oct. 4:  Winnipeg Jets season opener in St. Louis. 
  • Oct. 9:  Winnipeg Jets home opener vs Los Angeles.

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Thanks, Mitch 


  1. Bombers are the worlds worst-run sports team in the last 30 years. Don’t understand why you (or anyone else) follows ’em.

    If you stuck w/ the Blue through their various screw-ups & failures in the 1990’s, yeah, you were a “die-hard fan”. Today? In 2018? You’re just an idiot.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I don’t think any fan is an idiot for sticking with their team. I always support the players because they are the ones on the field BUT management is absolutely fair game for criticism. BTW I’m not an idiot LOL

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