Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Aug. 9

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 arbitration hearing dates have been set for pending RFAs.  Neal Pionk’s date set for Aug. 13 and Andrew Copp’s is set for Aug. 26.

Now with Neal Pionk's and Andrew Copp's arbitration dates being set what do you think will happen?

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2. NHL:  I’m always surprised how Kurt Overhardt gets hated on in Jets chatrooms and on social media.  He is a player agent just doing his job.  The key word is player, hockey fans need to realize that he works for his clients and not the teams or fans of those teams.  If I were a player I’d love to have him as my agent.  

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. Jets:  I really hope that Kristian Vesalainen gets more opputunities in offensive situations this season.  I would love to see him on the 2nd unit PP playing the right half wall teeing up his wicked one-timer.  Ves has a very good shot and the Jets need to make use of it. 

5. Jets:  I’m so tired of some of our mainstream media in Winnipeg pumping Andrew Copp’s tires as being a top 6 forward.  He is a very good third line winger that can kill penalties and in a pinch move up in the lineup.  In a pinch and that is it.  Andrew Copp is NOT a top 6 forward on a good NHL team and he will never be one on this Winnipeg Jets team.  Average fans will tend to believe this narrative so PLEASE STOP.  As for Andrew Copp himself, I like that he wants more responsibilty but if he wants to be paid and play as a top 6 forward he better ask for a trade to Arizona or Detroit.

6. Jets:  RFA defenceman Logan Stanley has re-upped for two more years in Winnipeg for $900,000 per season.  Stanley was last season’s biggest surprize and has become a fan favourite in his short time with the big club.  

7. Jets:  Speaking of the Jets powerplay I would like to see the following 10 players on our powerplay units.

1st unit:

Mark Scheifele … Paul Stastny … Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers … Neal Pionk

2nd unit:

Kyle Connor … Pierre-Luc Dubois … Kristian Vesalainen

Josh Morrissey … Nate Schmidt 

Of course there are a couple guys the can flip-flop and a few different configurations in structuring both units but it is time that Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers is on the #1 unit.  Also, if Cole Perfetti makes the team he is a definate canditate for the 2nd unit.

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8. Jets:  I’m really looking forward to watching our improved defence corp this upcoming season but if Paul Maurice doesn’t change their defensive system it might not matter how much they have improved on paper.  You can’t have players following/chasing their checks all over the defensive zone.  Brenden Dillon can’t be tough in front of the Jets net if he is following his check to the blueline in Maurice’s ridiculous man on man hydrid system.   

9. NHLWho just gets a Vezina Trophy winner for nothing?  

10. Jets:  Just in case you forgot, we SWEPT the Oilers.   

11. IIHF:  Congrats to Manitoba’s contribition to Team Canada for the upcoming Women’s World Hockey Championship later this month in Calgary.  Veteran Jocelyne Larocque (defence) from Ste. Anne will be joined by first-timers Ashton Bell (defence) from Deloraine and Kristen Campbell (goaltender) from Brandon on our women’s hockey team.  Canada will be joined by nine other countries in this 10-team tournament.  Good luck girls. 

12. IIHF:  The 2022 Winter Olympics are only 6 months away and there is still no agreement between the NHL and the IOC.  As they say on Letterkenny, pitter-patter.   

13. NHL:  I’ve often wondered why more players don’t negotiate their own contracts?  I can see new players coming into the league needing a good agent but veteran players like OV who just negotiated his own don’t need one. 

14. Random: This is the week that I go through severe Olympic Games withdrawl.  I love watching and pulling for our Canadian athletes.  There is nothing better than watching our athletes achievements whether they win a medal or not.   

15. CFL:  On a non-hockey note it was unbelievable to see all the fans enjoying themselves at IG Field on Thursday night at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers game.  I wasn’t there but I was very happy for the fans that were.  

 

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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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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