Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 3

Mitch Kasprick is now the “Westdale Curmudgeon” 

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 or is it the 8Ps?  You’ve been warned.

July 5:  Winnipeg Jets 2023 Development Camp on-ice sessions begin and run until Saturday, July 8 at the Hockey For All Centre.

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1. Jets:  It turned out to be a very busy and very eventful week for the Winnipeg Jets and depending on who you talk to a pretty good week.  I’m on the “pretty good week” side of the ledger.  There is a segment of Jets fans (mostly on social media) that criticize and piss and moan about anything the Jets do.  You can’t please everybody, especially Johnny Shitstain and the rest of the basement bloggers.

2. Jets:  Chevy took care of priority #1 by trading forward Pierre-Luc Dubois to Los Angeles for forwards Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari, and Gabriel Vilardi and Montreal’s second-round pick (ironic) in the 2024 NHL Draft.  This deal could have been a disaster but I think the Jets received pretty good value considering they were backed into a corner.  PLD and his agent, Pat Brisson deserve some kudos for working with the Jets and screwing the Habs.  There are a lot of pissed-off fans in Montreal that were counting their chickens before they hatched.

3. Jets:  Based on the rankings from most of the credible NHL draft sites I had my eyes on Brayden Yager from the Moose Jaw Warriors for the Jets but Pittsburgh selected him 4 spots before the Jets.  I had my eye on Colby Barlow but I thought he’d be long gone before the Jets pick at #18.  I couldn’t believe he was available at #18 and as every pick that went by with him still on the board was getting hopeful but I was very aware that Oliver Moore and Gabriel Perrault from the USTDP  were available as well and I thought Chevy might go there with his fondness if those USHL players.  Moore and Perrault are both very good players but Chevy went with the Canadian kid for a change and it looks like there might be a shift in thinking and I’m all for it.  

4. Jets:  The Jets had 5 draft picks in last week’s entry draft and I loved the Colby Barlow (#18) and Thomas Milic (#151) selections, I’m very intrigued by the Jets’ 3rd-round selection, forward, Zach Nehring (#82), Connor Levi #210) meh, but I don’t get the Jacob Julien (146) pick at all.  Julien looks like a major project type of player that someone had belief in but based on his numbers why in the 5th round?  

5. Jets:  I thought Kevin Cheveldayoff did some tidy work on Saturday re-upping Vlad Namestnikov for two more years and bringing Laurent Brossoit back into the fold on a 1-year deal and another goalie in Collin Delia on a one-way, 1-year deal.  Chevy also signed Jeffry Viel who will definitely add some feistiness to the Jets’ bottom six.  Viel had decent scoring numbers in junior and decent numbers in the AHL but it’s his PIMs that really stand out.  He is also on a one-year, one-way contract

6. Jets:  As of today Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck are still Winnipeg Jets in spite of all the trade rumours swirling around them.  Kevin Cheveldayoff said he is quite comfortable starting the season with them on the roster as they are still a huge part of this team.  If teams want them they will have to step up as we just saw in the PLD trade to the Kings.

7. Jets:  Some Jets fans were wondering why Chevy gave Leon Gawanke his qualifying offer since he bolted to the German League in a huff.  The Jets now still retain his rights and proceeded to flip his rights to San Jose for 22-year-old defenceman Artemi Kniazev.

8. Jets:  A lot of fans were wondering why teams that have no cap space are still signing players.

9. Jets:  There has been lots of talk about the Winnipeg Jets buying out the final year of Blake Wheeler’s contract and it became official on Friday.  The team bought out the last year of his $8,250,000 contract with the buyout being 2/3 of his remaining salary ($5,500,000).  The team will save $2,750,000 on the original dollar figure and they will have a cap penalty of $2,750,000 for the next 2 seasons but they gained $5,500,000 in very valuable cap for the upcoming season.   

10. Jets:  Odds and ends: 

  • I love Ryan Reaves but Toronto giving him a 3-year contract is managerial malpractice.
  • The book is now closed on the Andrew Copp trade with the Jets using the final asset from that deal (5th-round pick) to select Thomas Milic.  The net result of that deal is Andrew Copp and the Jets’ 2023 6th-round pick (Ty Henricks) for Morgan Barron and Brad Lambert (NYR 2022 1st-round pick), Elias Salomonsson (St. Louis 2022 2nd-round pick via NYR) and Thomas Milic (NYR 2023 5th-round pick).  I’d say that was a pretty good haul.
  • Vegas had 15 Canadians on their team.  Just saying.
  • Colby Barlow is the first 17-year-old captain in Owen Sound’s history.
  • The Winnipeg Jets have signed forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby to a two-year contract with an average annual value in the NHL of $775,000.  The deal is a two-way contract in 2023-24 and a one-way contract in 2024-25.


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PRO TIP:  Listen to the audio version as you’re reading.  Much more in-depth.

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