Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 18

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:  A lot of Jets fans are asking how the Jets let RFA, Eric Comrie slip away and turn into a UFA?  Was it an oversight or an organisational decision not to tender a QO to Comrie?  Comrie had played in enough games to still be considered an RFA but he was 90 minutes short in those games to retain his RFA status.  Somebody over at TNSE has some “splaining to do”.  The winner in all this was Eric Comrie who earned himself a tidy little raise and a chance to be the #1 tender in Buffalo.  Two years at $1,800,000 per season is a helluva lot more than he was going to get in Winnipeg.  Good for him.     

2. Jets:  I’m not surprised by all the angst and negativity surrounding the Jets from their fanbase.  Jets fans are convinced that this team will be as bad as last season.  I’m not going to disagree BUT can they be as bad as they were last year?  NHL players are a proud bunch, look at Calgary and Nashville and how they rebounded after off years.  We all knew Chevy is going to be very conservative on “Free Agent Frenzy Day”, so why bitch about it?  The UFA season is just starting and we were never going to be in on any of the “big fish”but there is still time to reshape this team before the regular season.  I’m concerned but not as down on them as others.

3. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets did fill their backup spot the first day of free agency by signing David “big save Dave” Rittich to a 1-year $900,000 deal.  Rittich should be a capable back-up to Connor Hellebuyck but I had to laugh when he commented about his season in Nashville during his Zoom interview from his home in Czechia.

It’s hard to get going, it’s hard to feel good, it’s hard to get your form back when you’re playing once a month.  When you’re playing once a month and you let in one goal, you’re saying to yourself, ‘Oh boy.

I’m not sure it will be that much better with the Jets the way Connor Hellebuyck demands the crease, so it’s up to “Big save Dave” to earn the trust of his new team.

4. NHL:  Somebody needs to tell “Johnnie Hockey” that Columbus is east of Calgary but really isn’t very close to the “East Coast” 

5. Jets:  The Jets signed ex- Arizona Coyotes’ defenceman Kyle Capobianco to a 2-year $762,000 per season contract but the interesting part is the 2nd year is a 1-way deal.  He is a defenceman capable of playing NHL minutes but not on this current Jets’ team with their glut of NHL-ready defencemen.

6. Jets:  I would have given Ottawa a 2nd-rounder for Connor Brown.    

7. Jets:  The Jets have re-upped winger Janzen Harkins for 2 more years at $850,000 per season as well as signing 2022 2nd-rounder, Elias Salomonsson to a 3-year ELC at $870,000 per season.  Chevy also signed a couple of free agents destined for the Manitoba Moose, Kevin Stenlund, Alex Limoges, and Manitoban, Ashton Sautner from Flin Flon.  A Manitoban, yup, I almost fainted too. 

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8. NHL:  With all the brainy lawyers, mathematicians, and bean-counters the NHL employs, you’d think that they could come up with an algorithm or formula to calculate an NHL market’s taxation and cost of living to even out the playing field.  It is utter and complete bullshit that players basically ignore all Canadian markets when it comes to free agency.  The part that pisses me off is that little weasel that runs the league loves the fact that Canadian teams are irrelevant come Stanley Cup time.  I think it’s time the Canadian team owners put their foot down and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. 

This is probably not a hill the Canadian owners want to die on but when was the last time a team north of the 49th won a Stanley Cup?  The NHL needs to get rid of “NO MOVEMENT” clauses and work on a fair taxation guideline to help level the playing field.  You can’t blame players for wanting to live in a warmer climate but throw in lower taxes and the Canadian teams are all swimming uphill.

9. Jets:  My UFA wishlist was very conservative with low expectations and everybody on my list is gone except for Paul Stastny.  I think Stastny will end up in Colorado so now it’s sit a wait to see if Chevy trades anybody. 

10. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff or Mark Chipman or Rick Bowness.

What’s happening as far as assistant coaches are concerned?

11. Jets:  What do you think of Chevy’s work so far?  

Are you happy with Chevy's work so far this off-season?

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12. Important Dates:  

August 9:  U20 WHC starts in Edmonton and runs until Aug.20.

13. Jets Pierre-Luc Dubois did not file for salary arbitration by the Sunday deadline, so now there are a few options for him to consider.  He has until July 22 to accept the Jets’ 1-year qualifying offer ($6,000,000), negotiate a new contract with the Jets (not likely) or hope for an offer sheet.  Signing an offer sheet is a risky proposition because the Jets could always match it.  Stay tuned.    
14. Jets:  A lot of Jets fans are starting to wonder about Paul Stastny’s comments coming out of the year-end exit meetings about players being selfish yadda, yadda.  People assumed he was referring to Mark Scheifele but Maybe he was referring to PLD.  There is one thing to keep in mind, when the Jets had that closed-door, players-only meeting in Florida where they aired their dirty laundry, Mark Scheifele was injured and not on that 4-game road trip.  Things that make you go hmmm?
15. Jets:  Mark Scheifele, Connor Hellebuyck, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Jansen Harkins, Brenden Dillon, and Dylan DeMelo will all be UFAs in 2 seasons and then Nikolaj Ehlers, Nate Schmidt, and Neal Pionk become UFAs the next season.  That window is getting pretty tight. 
16.Jets:  You can’t piss and moan about Chevy not signing UFAs and then bitch that players like David Gustafsson, Morgan Barron, Ville Heinola, Jeff Malott, etc are roster-blocked with no room for them on the big club. 



  1. Dave Smith says

    2011 the Jets showed up with 6 good players. Ladd, Wheeler, Little, Kane, Buff and Toby. This team is the same Ehlers, Connor, Scheifele, Wheeler, Morrissey and DeMelo. Only differences are the first batch in 2011 was 25 years old this one is something like 30 and Helle is the goalie that The Jets thought Pavelec was.
    So basically we are looking at 5 year rebuild maybe longer depending how long the Jets hang onto their aging core.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Dave …. I’m not as down on the Jets as most fans … I’m down on how they are run … they have good pieces to build around but the center ice position is a circus and is really pissing me off.

  2. I was getting to feel quite comfortable with Comrie as a backup…so much so, I thought he should have played more. I’m not sure how much Chipman is involved in the day to day dealings of the organization, but some decisions should be left to people with more experience than him, and he should keep his tiny, circus hands out of it. The last two years have left me baffled about how this team is run.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Les … somebody in that management group has some explaining to do about the “Comrie” situation … that is blatant managerial malpractice.

  3. I thought the dressing room was a mess before PLD got here.
    First thing needing attention is getting Wheeler out so you know your cap space.
    It is not like the players here are terrible, Bowness needs to get them to play as a unit and that will automatically add points in the standings.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Het Ian ………. Paul Maurice created a monster under his watch while Chipper and Chevy looked on ………. this can’t happen and is inexcusable.

  4. Good point in #14, re: problems in the dressing room. Dubois performed very well on the ice but maybe he was a PITA behind the scenes. Stay tuned for “Track Suits, The Sequel”

    When a team plays poorly it can only expect to sell hope the following year. For the Jets that means playing its young guys in the pipeline. I want to see Perfetti Lucius Kovasevic Chisolm Heinola Gustafsson

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Claude … thanks for stopping by … I agree and especially with Kovacevic as he is not waiver exempt …. we can’t just give him away … Chevy has tons of work to do.

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