Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Aug. 30

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:  It was very quiet in Jetsville this week but Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers was been busy playing for Denmark in the final Olympic Hockey Qualifying Tournament.  Denmark went 3-0 in their group after defeated Norway 2-0  yesterday and have qualified for the 2022 Olympic Games.  Ehlers scored the clinching goal in the third period to cement the win.  Nik had 5 goals and four assists for nine points in the tournament. 

2. NHL:  It looks like the Carolina Hurricanes are trying to get a little revenge on the Montreal Canadiens by offer sheeting Jesperi Kotkaniemi.  This is definitely payback for the Sebastian Aho offer sheet from two summers ago.  I’m not sure the Habs match this offer and just take the 1st and 3rd round picks as compensation.  The offer sheet is 1 year for $6.100,000 The Habs have seven days to match the offer.  Stay tuned.

3. Team Canada:  I realize that it was just a preliminary round game and that these rosters are still in transition but I don’t ever remember the Canadian women dominating Team USA like they did this past week in their 5-1 victory.  The Americans looked slow and disorganized but I’m not buying it.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them play again when the real shooting starts this week.

UPDATE:

Team Canada and Team USA both won their semi-final games on Monday and will now face each other Tuesday night for the GOLD MEDAL.

4. Jets:  With the focus now off the Jets blueline I look at the forwards and see opportunities for Jansen Harkins, Kristian Vesalainen and David Gustafsson.  It is time for these kids to claim their spots in the lineup.  Tick-tock. 

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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6. Jets:  Manitoba Moose forward Marko Dano has also been busy this off-season trying to help Slovakia qualify for the Olympics.  Slovakia won their group and are now qualified for the 2022 Olympic Games.  Dano’s status for this upcoming season is unknown but I hope he is back with the Moose.    

7. Team Canada:  Marie-Philip Poulin was injured Tuesday while blocking a shot to her upper chest/neck area while killing a penalty versus Switzerland.  I would like somebody to explain to me what the hell Marie-Philip Poulin was doing on the ice killing a penalty in a 5-0 game in the third period?  

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8. Jets:  It’s about a month to training camp boys and girls and I wonder what the protocols will be to watch the Jets at the Bell MTS Iceplex?     

9. NHL:  If you think about the Kotkaniemi offer sheet, he really gave a big middle finger to the Habs organisation by signing a one-year deal.  They have seven days to match it or take the compensation of a 1st and 3rd pick.  I wouldn’t match it, he’s not worth $6,100,000 and to make matters worse whoever ends up getting him has to qualify him at this amount next off-season.  That’s insanity.  If I’m Marc Bergevin I wait right until the last minute before telling Jesperi to stick it. 

10. 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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11. NHLBack to the Kotkaniemi signing, the Hurricanes may have inadvertantly screwed themselves.  The Canes have to sign Martin Necas to a new deal next season and their camp must be licking their lips looking at the Kotkaniemi offer.  Maybe Marc Bergevin will keep it interesting and offer-sheet Necas this off-season.  Fun times.

12. Jets:  Upcoming events.

Sept. 26 – First pre-season game vs Ottawa.

Oct. 13 – First regular-season game at Anaheim.

Oct. 21 – Home opener vs Anaheim.

13. NHL:  The biggest buzzword I hear when talking about player salaries is “comparables” and in my opinion, a lot of the comparables player agents and media members use don’t always match up.  There are many things that factor into comparables like even strength points, PP points, match-ups, icetime etc etc plus you need to factor in market adjustments like cost of living and taxes.  Comparing salaries in different markets is tough.  I’m not sure who came up with full salary exposure but it has been the NHLPA’s best friend.      

14. IIHF:  Just an FYI here for those of you that didn’t know but Nik Ehlers dad, Heinz, is the head coach of Team Denmark.

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers record improved to 3-1 after defeating Calgary 18-16 Sunday night at IG Field.  Andrew Harris scored the Bombers’ only touchdown and looked pretty good in his first game in what seems like an eternity.  The bad news is the secondary was exposed again and is definitely the weak link on this team.  Kicker Marc Liegghio had a strong game although he missed a convert and missed his attempt at the game winning field goal but caught a break when the Bombers were penalized for a time count violation.  After moving back 10 yards he split the uprights right down the middle from 45 yards.  Final thought, the Bombers 3-1 record might be fools gold and Richie Hall will need a better game plan on defence or Cody Fajardo will have a field day the next two weeks.  I have a feeling the LDC is going to be ugly.          

 

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch

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