Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 27

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. NHL:  Just to refresh your memories, I said this just over a month ago.

“It has been exactly three months since I’ve posted any thoughts on the Winnipeg Jets or the NHL and although it looks like we are getting closer to a resumption of play, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Well, the puck hasn’t officially dropped yet but the teams have all left for their respective “bubble cities” so it looks like we are going to do this.  I hope the teams respect the parameters set out by the NHL and everybody stays safe and healthy.

2. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets left for Edmonton yesterday and there were no real surprises on their 31-man roster except for maybe them having four goaltenders on the roster.

Goaltenders:  Connor Hellebuyck, Laurent Brossoit, Mikhail Berdin and Eric Comrie.

Defence:  Josh Morrissey, Dylan DeMelo, Dmitry Kulikov, Neal Pionk, Nathan Beaulieu, Tucker Poolman, Luca Sbisa, Anthony Bitetto, Sami Niku and Carl Dahlstrom.

Forwards:  Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers, Cody Eakin, Patrick Laine, Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry, Jack Roslovic, Mathieu Perreault, Nick Shore, Mason Appleton, Gabriele Bourque, David Gustafsson, Mark Letestu, Logan Shaw and Jansen Harkins.

3. Jets:  I’m sure I speak for all Jets fans in wishing Dale Hawerchuk all the best in his fight with cancer.

4. NHL:  I had a chuckle when I saw Twitter posts about nobody caring about hockey returning next weekend.  I bet the ratings for the broadcasts will be through the roof … at least in Canada anyway.  We need a distraction with all the crap going on in our world today.     

5. NHL:  I read a feature on what the NHL’s bubble will look like and I have to admit it looks like they’ve done a pretty thorough job of making sure the players and team staff don’t have the urge to stray.  I really missed live sports and even though it is the middle of summer I can hardly wait for hockey to restart.  I have enjoyed the golf that has been on tv for the past month and a half.  I’m excited that baseball started this past weekend but I’ll be amazed if they go the distance.  MLB and the NFL are too arrogant or stupid to realize that their parameters are weak and their players are at risk.  I think the NHL has got it right.  Only time will tell.   

6. Jets:  I am very disappointed Bryan Little won’t be back for the playoffs but obviously his longterm health is a priority although I can’t help but wonder if he is done?  I sure hope not.

7. Jets:  The NHL announced their season-ending awards finalists last week and Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was named a Vezina Trophy finalist for the second time in three seasons.  It looks like the Jets net is in good hands for many years to come. 

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8. Jets:  Since our last chat the NHL held its draft lottery and the first overall pick went to one of the eight teams that lose their play-in series.  With that being said it just begs for a poll question.    

9. JetsPOLL QUESTION #1:  

What is your preference for the Winnipeg Jets restart?

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10. Jets:  The Jets restart schedule.  All games are Manitoba time.

Exhibition

Wednesday: July 29, 9:30 pm – Jets vs Canucks 

Best of five play-in series

Saturday: Aug. 1, 9:30 pm – Jets at Flames
Monday: Aug. 3, 1:30 pm – Jets at Flames
Tuesday: Aug. 4, 5:45 pm – Flames at Jets
Thursday: Aug. 6, TBD – Flames at Jets (if necessary)
Saturday: Aug. 8, TBD – Jets at Flames (if necessary)

11. Jets:  I disagree with the chatter going around town that Helle was snubbed as a finalist for the Hart Trophy.  I think the three finalists named were deserving.  

12. NHL: It looks like the Arizona Coyotes and their GM, John Chayka had an ugly break-up this weekend.   Stay tuned this could get interesting.

From the Arizona Coyotes:

“John Chayka has quit as the General Manager and President of Hockey Operations of the Arizona Coyotes. The Club is disappointed in his actions and his timing as the Coyotes prepare to enter the NHL’s hub city of Edmonton, where the team will begin post-season play for the first time since 2012. Chayka has chosen to quit on a strong and competitive team, a dedicated staff, and the Arizona Coyotes fans, the greatest fans in the NHL.”

From John Chayka: 

“The past four years have been the most enjoyable of my life. In Arizona, I became a husband and a father, while working as hard as possible to make the Coyotes a Stanley Cup contender. I love our players, coaches, staff and fans and I very much wish I could be with the team in Edmonton. Sadly, the situation created by ownership made that an impossibility.”

13. Jets:  I was a little surprised that Dylan Samberg wasn’t part of the Winnipeg Jets restart. 

14. NHL:  RIP Eddie Shack.  I met Eddie “the entertainer” Shack in the ’90s when I was working at Bel Acres Golf Course.  Eddie was playing in a pro-am and he was wearing cowboys boots on the practice putting green so I said to him that our superintendent wouldn’t be happy to see those on the greens and he laughed and flashed the golf spikes.  It was priceless.  He was a friendly and engaging personality that will be missed.  Clear the track, here comes Shack.

15. NHL:  POLL QUESTION #2:  

Do you think the NHL will make it through the restart and award the Stanley Cup?

View Results

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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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