Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: June 4

Odds and Ends on the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL –

Some random facts and a few thoughts about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, and the National Hockey League.  

1.  As the Stanley Cup Finals were approaching I didn’t think I had a preference between Washington or Vegas.  Even if you don’t know, usually once the series starts you’ll find yourself leaning one way or another.  Well, it didn’t take me long.  About two minutes into the first period I was all-in for the Caps.  I didn’t realize I hated the Golden Knights that much but I bet their ridiculous pre-game theatrics probably had a lot to do with it.    

2.  I’ve never bought into the narrative of cheering for a team because they represent your division or conference or even cheering for the team that knocked you out so you can say “at least we lost to the Stanley Cup Champions”.  Screw that, it doesn’t ease the pain, it just makes me want them to lose even more.        

3.  There are reports that former Thrashers star, Ilya Kovalchuk has listed the Winnipeg Jets as one of the four or five teams he wouldn’t mind joining come July 1.  I wonder if the Jets organisation has any interest in rekindling their past.  I think he can still play and wouldn’t be that big a ticket at this stage of his career.

4.  Things can and will probably change before the 2018 NHL Entry draft but as it stands right now the Winnipeg Jets have six picks including a 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 5th (Bos), 6th and a 7th.  

5.  If the Winnipeg Jets don’t make an attempt to re-sign Paul Stastny, are we okay with Bryan Little as our second line center next season?  

6.  The 2018 NHL Scouting Combine is currently underway in Buffalo.  I guess it’s nice having approximately 100 of the top draft prospects all together in one place but I get the impression that a lot of teams, including our own Winnipeg Jets, are a lot more interested in the interview process than the hopping, skipping, and jumping.

7.  Looking back at the conference finals, I can’t help but wonder why the Winnipeg Jets were so soft against the Vegas Golden Knights?  Lots of observers think it was because of the long series versus Nashville and the short turn around time but that’s utter hogwash!  In reality, the big, bad Jets really aren’t that bad.  Dustin Byfuglien was the only Jets player that was big and bad from the opening puck drop in round one through the final whistle versus Vegas.  The rest of the team was very sporadic and inconsistent when it came to the physical part of the game.  Watching the finals has made this very apparent to me.  Vegas and Washington don’t have many passengers on most nights and are willing to pay the price to compete in the hard areas.  The Winnipeg Jets did play well but some did play a lot of perimeter hockey.  

8.  FYI:  According to Count Chocula the salary cap for next season will be between $78,000,000 – $82,000,000.  Way to narrow it down GARY!

9.   I wonder when the Winnipeg Jets will actually have one of their second-round picks as a full-time roster player?  The second round seems to be their black hole.  

10.  Poll Question:   

Factoring in the Winnipeg Jets salary cap, his contract demands, and term, do you think Chevy should take a run at signing UFA forward Ilya Kovalchuk?

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11.  I wonder if Michael Hutchinson still thinks he is an NHL goaltender?  I’m sure he does and that probably means he is as good as gone July 1 and that’s too bad because I would actually feel a lot more comfortable with Hutch as the Jets #3 goaltender. 

12.  Pet Peeve:  Why do NHL GMs feel the need to copy-cat things other GMs do?  Just because the Edmonton Oilers sign Connor McDavid to an eight-year extension right out of his ELC doesn’t mean every GM needs to follow.  Every situation is unique.  What’s the point of having bridge years?  I know it can be a risk and end up costing a team more money down the road if a player really blossoms but using the RFA years properly can actually let you keep your star players a little longer.  What’s wrong with a two-year bridge deal and then an eight-year longterm contract?  I’m not sure I want to follow the model of teams like Buffalo and Edmonton.       

13.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Will Nic Petan get a shot at the roster this fall or is his time done as a Jets prospect?  (see #9)     

14.  I wouldn’t call the NHL Awards a “key date” so I didn’t list it below but they are being held again in Las Vegas on June 20.  Good luck to our Winnipeg Jets nominees; Connor Hellebuyck (Vezina Trophy), Blake Wheeler (Messier Leadership Award), and Kevin Cheveldayoff (GM of the Year). 

15.  Key dates:

  • NHL Entry Draft:  June 22–23 – The 2018 NHL Entry Draft will be held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
  • UFA Interview Period:  June 24 – Unrestricted free agents may meet and interview with potential new teams from the day after the NHL Entry Draft (but not later than June 25) until June 30.
  • The Free Agency Period:  July 1 – Free agency begins on the first day of July.  UFA players are free to negotiate and sign a contract with any NHL team. 

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Hockey Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

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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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