Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 15

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 Winnipeg Jets had a pretty good week in the standings.  They went into Toronto and took FIVE points in their three-game series versus the first-place Maple Leafs.  The first two games weren’t pretty and they won thanks to Connor Hellebuyck but the Jets bounced back in the third game (Laurent Brossoit started) and proved they can win a game not having to rely on Helle.  The Jets finished their 5-game road trip with a 3-1-1 and now have an overall record of 17-8-2 and have closed to within four points of the first-place Leafs with three games in hand.

2. Jets:  I really hate to see any player get injured but Nathan Beaulieu’s wrist injury may be the break (no pun intended) that Sami Niku and/or Logan Stanley needed.  Nate could be out for 2-3 weeks.  There is a narrative in Winnipeg that a lot of the better lineup decisions made are because of injuries and not correct player evaluation and in some causes I can’t disagree.      

3. JetsJets are rumored to be looking for a right shot defenceman but they could have had hometown boy Travis Hamonic who was a UFA and ended up signing with Vancouver for $1,000,000 but Chevy chose to sign Nathan Beaulieu and Luca Sbisa on the opening day of free agency.  What was Chevy thinking? 

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished their four-game series with Stockton last week with a win after two OT and one regulation time loss.  Their overall record now sits at 7-7-2-0 overall for the season.  A quirk in the schedule now has them off for twelve days in the middle of their 17-game homestand.  I guess this will give Pascal Vincent some much needed practice time during a very hectic few weeks to open the season.  

5. Jets:  Cole Perfetti is off to a nice start in his professional career in the AHL with 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 16 games.  Perfetti certainly doesn’t look out of place and he is getting more comfortable each game.  I think the Jets have themselves a good one and I can see him being a contributor to the team in 2-3 years and maybe less.  

6. NHL:  The NHL is really starting to irritate me with their constant tweaking of the draft lottery every freaking year.  Just go back to the way it used to be and if teams want to tank, let them tank.  What is worse, a really bad team tanking or a team like the already advantaged NYR moving up in the draft lottery two years in a row including winning the #1 selection.  Tank on boys.     

7. Jets:  You’ve been Hellebuycked might become a new adjective in Toronto after this past week.  Helle had the Maple Leaf forwards shaking their heads on the bench and especially William Nylander who was robbed more than a few times.   

8. Jets:  I bet most Jets fans would prefer to see Logan Stanley in the lineup over a player like Nathan Beaulieu and who would have believed that a year ago?  Stanley has been a pleasant surprise and still hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.  It will interesting to see how this plays out in the weeks to come.  (see #2)  

9. Jets:  The David Savard watch has begun.   

10. Jets:  Is Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers the most underrated forward in the NHL?  The goals he scored versus Toronto last week were pure snipes.     

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11. Jets:  With the Manitoba Moose not playing for almost two weeks I wonder if the Jets might think about getting Ville Heinola into their lineup?  Heinola has 4 goals and 6 helpers for 10 points in 16 games with the Moose and looks very comfortable at the AHL level.  Unless they want to use his ELC slide he should be next one up and if he does get called up there is no way he’s going back. (see #4)

FYI:   What is an Entry Level Slide? (from CapFriendly)
If a player who is signed to an entry-level contract and is 18 or 19 years of age (as of September 15 of the signing year), does not play in a minimum of 10 NHL games (including both regular season and playoffs; AHL games do not count), their contract is considered to ‘slide’, or extend, by one year.  For this shortened season it has been pro-rated to 7 NHL games.  Example, if a player signed an ELC for three seasons from 2015-16 to 2017-2018, and their contract slides, their contract is now effective from 2016-17 to 2018-19.  An exception to this rule is that if the player is 19 on September 15 of the first year of their contract, and turns 20 between September 16 and December 31, their contract does not slide.

Players who sign at 18 years old are eligible to have their contracted extended for 2 seasons.  This extension does not apply if the player turns 20 between September 16 and December 31 in his signing year.  Signing bonuses do not slide, and are paid to the player regardless of a slide, this causes the annual average of the players contract to change, and therefore the cap hit decreases for this player.

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:  Factoring in the cost of acquisition, player’s contract, contract status (term), the actual chance of acquiring said player, and his impact on the roster, who should the Winnipeg Jets pursue?

Who would be your top trade deadline acquisition for the Winnipeg Jets?

View Results

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14. NHL:  I don’t know what the big deal is about some NHL teams south of the border allowing a limited number of fans into games, hell Florida and Arizona have been doing it for years.    

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  How come when Connor Hellebuyck steals a game we feel the need to be apologetic and not deserving of the win.  Last time I checked the goalie is part of the 6 players on the ice and I’m okay if Helle is one of my best players on a given night, although I wouldn’t want this to become a habit.  Goaltenders stealing games is nothing new and it’s not like the Winnipeg Jets have never been out-goalie’d.  Quid pro quo.     

17. Jets:  Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 3rd at 25.00% up from 23.60% last week.
  • PK: 3rd at 77.60 up from 77.10% last week. 
  • FO: 6th at 48 .20 down from 48.80% last week … in Saturday night’s win over Toronto Mark Scheifele was decent winning 10 of 18.

18. Jets:  Sami Niku seems to be the forgotten man and an afterthought now that Ville Heinola is around.  I think Sami Niku has looked very good in his limited playing time this season.  I love his offensive game and I’m really pulling for him.  To be honest I don’t know where he fits in but he is to good not to be getting some playing time.  

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  12-7-2 … 2.81 GAA … .911 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  5-1-0 … 2.48 GAA … .921 SV%

20. NWHL:  Am I a bad person because I have no interest in watching women’s hockey unless I see the National Team jerseys on display?  I don’t want to watch a game where Marie-Philip Poulin and Kendall Coyne Schofield are on the same team.  For me, the allure has always been the Canada/USA rivalry with an Olympic Gold Medal or a World Championship on the line.  I love our Canadian women’s program and I watch every game on tv just like millions of others but I question if there is enough support to sustain a professional league for the women.  It is all about supply and demand but it looks like there is more supply and not as much demand. 


In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch


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