Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: May 1

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.

You can listen to a more in-depth audio version here >>> Audio Version Podcast is now live

May 8:  NHL Draft Lottery (7 p.m. ET)

June 3:  Tentative start of Stanley Cup Final

June 4-10:  NHL Scouting Combine

June 26:  2023 NHL Awards

June 28:  Round 1 of the 2023 NHL Draft (7 p.m. ET)

June 29:  Rounds 2-7 of the 2023 NHL Draft (11 a.m. ET)

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

1. Jets:  Rick Bowness got this team to “buy in” for half a season but like they say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.  Goals 51 seconds into the first period and then 43 seconds into the second period in an elimination game just about say it all. 

 2. Jets:  Game 5 left a sour taste in most Jets fans’ mouths, me included but I want to remember the 5-1 win in the first game and the third-period comeback in the third game.  It wasn’t all bleak. 

3. Jets:  It was like 2018 all over again. The Jets win game 1 in a Vegas series that get swept in the next 4 games.  Maybe this series loss in the first round to Vegas is a blessing in disguise and Rick Bowness’s post-game presser finally opened Mark Chipman’s eyes to the bigger problem on his team like the team’s construction and makeup of the players including the architect.

4. Jets:  Well the season is over, Kyle Connor should have no problem getting out of town, he’s used to taking the Perimeter.

5. Jets:  I may be a crusty old curmudgeon but I’ve been around for some time and I’m occasionally right.

This is why you can’t jump to conclusions until you have ALL the information.

6. Jets:  I’m done with Mark Hillier as our head scout unless he gets a new directive from management on the type of players the Winnipeg Jets need.  We don’t have enough character guys that have gone through the playoff grinds of the CHL and more so the WHL.  I’ve had enough of the figure skaters from the USHL. This is not a Canada vs U.S. thing but about the style of play.  I don’t really care what nationality a player is as long as they compete and play a 200 ft game.

7. Jets:  I don’t know what to say about this.  Connor Hellebuyck … 1-4 … 3.44 GAA … .886 SV% 

8. ICE:  The Winnipeg ICE are up 2-0 in the WHL’s Eastern Conference Final vs the Saskatoon Blades with the possibility of 4 more games this week and maybe a 7th game next Tuesday in Winnipeg. 

Fri, Apr 28  SAS at WPG  6:05  PM CDT  Wayne Fleming Arena … Won 3-0 

Sat, Apr 29  SAS at WPG  4:00 PM CDT  Wayne Fleming Arena … Won 6-2 

Tue, May 2  WPG at SAS  7:00 PM ST  SaskTel Centre

Wed, May 3  WPG at SAS  7:00 PM ST  SaskTel Centre

Fri, May 5  SAS at WPG  6:05  PM CDT  Wayne Fleming Arena*

Sun, May 7  WPG at SAS  4:00 PM ST  SaskTel Centre*

Tue, May 9  SAS at WPG  7:05  PM CDT  Wayne Fleming Arena*

* if necessary

 9. Jets:  Quotes from “garbage bag day”.  Just so there is no confusion these are quotes from the year-end player pressers, these are not exit interviews.  Exit interviews are private and conducted between the GM and coach with the players individually. 

Blake Wheeler’s reaction to Bowness’ blunt Game 5 postgame comments:

I thought Bones had an opportunity to address us as a team. He could’ve been honest with us, handled it behind closed doors.  I didn’t like how he handled himself after the game.  We can all be upset and pissed off, but let’s do it face-to-face.  You guys (media) don’t have to be involved.

Connor Hellebuyck on his UFA status next summer:

 That’s hard to answer.  It’s a lot to think about.  We are only two days removed.  My main goal is to win a Stanley cup, and I’m starting to run out of time.  I can feel it.

I just want to win a cup.  I don’t know what the future of this team looks like.  I don’t know what their plans are.  I don’t know if I’m in it.  I’m not interesting in a rebuild.

Kyle Connor: 

Wished he (Rick Bowness) would have addressed it with the team first.  In Bowness’s post-game comments, he saw an emotional guy that just wants to win, and understood that Bowness was emotional after the game.

I don’t think anyone in their mid-20s wants to be a part of a rebuild.  I want to compete for a Stanley Cup every year.

Nino Niederreiter:

Niederreiter says he’s had a great experience in Winnipeg and would like to be here next year and beyond, but has no appetite for a rebuild.  Doesn’t think the city has one either.  I do have a good feeling about this team, and I’m sure they will do something to make us great next year.

I would like to stay here next year and even longer.  I didn’t know much about Winnipeg when he arrived via trade.  He says he’s enjoyed his experience in the city and sees it as a place he’d like to play.

Mark Scheifele:

Says what Hellebuyck does beyond this coming season will impact his decision.  Both players are 1 yr removed from UFA status.  He said playing for one franchise would mean a lot to him, especially because Steve Yzerman was his favourite player and he played his whole career in Detroit.  Also adds that there are two sides, though, and not everything is within his control.

Pierre-Luc Dubois:

PLD said he had no issue with what Rick Bowness said, he would just have rather Bowness said it face to face.  Pierre-Luc Dubois says he’d like a long-term deal this summer, as opposed to another one-year deal which would walk him to UFA status.

Adam Lowry:
Players still viewed Blake Wheeler as the captain of the team this year despite losing his letter. 
Josh Morrissey:
Morrissey reiterated that wasn’t a player decision.  Others echoed those thoughts.
Nik Ehlers:
What happens in the offseason, I have no idea.  I have no say.  I don’t want any say.  I am terrible in fantasy leagues, so I wouldn’t help out very much.  I am here to play hockey for the Winnipeg Jets.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that much this year.
Rick Bowness:
The players are probably right about how I handled my post-game comments after Game 5.  But the clear message is I will never accept the effort in that game.
Disgusted … was a word I regretted using after game 5.  I never want them to be satisfied with we made the playoffs.
10. Jets:   There’s probably not one player in ANY sport that wouldn’t have said what the Jets players were saying about Bones handling it internally.  I’m sure he has tried many times but has fallen on SOME deaf ears … I also believe his short tirade was also aimed at the 2 in the Ivory Tower.


11. Jets:  Poll question

Playoff success or failure not withstanding should the Jets be in rebuild mode this offseason?

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There is absolutely no defending Chevy anymore.  He is the only GM the Jets have ever had and this team has won only 3 playoff rounds. Most GMs would have been replaced years ago.  Chevy has gone “nose blind” to his own work and so has Mark Chipman.

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

This question is for Rick Bowness:  The question I had for Rick Bowness was asked and answered on Saturday during his year-end presser.  The question was “Will you be back next season?”  His answer was an emphatic YES. 

FYI:  Bones has one more year left at $2,500,000 with a club option for a third season at $3,000,000.

13. Jets:  In Kevin Cheveldayoff’s presser he answered one question in 40 minutes, will Rick Bowness be behind the bench again next year?  Yes.  Everything else was excuses, justification, double-talk, and jibber-jabber. 

14. Jets:  Mikey Eyssimont was put on waivers by the Jets but he was good enough to be the FIRST STAR for Tampa in their win over Toronto in game 5 in Toronto.  I thought Bones liked guys that are tough and compete.  Eyssimont is certainly a player with push-back.

15. Jets:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly this past season.  

    • Good:  Connor Hellebuyck giving his team a chance to win on most nights.  The emergence of Josh Morrissey as a true #1 defenceman.  The development of Dylan Samberg.
    • Bad:  The disappearing act by Kyle Connor after the All-Star break.  The overall poor play of Neal Pionk and Nate Schmidt.
    • Ugly:  The Jets’ powerplay.

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

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You can listen to a more in-depth audio version here >>> Audio Version Podcast is now live



  1. Les Funk says

    Goodness…where do I start? Games 1, 3, and 4 gave the fans exactly what they needed and showed how a contender handles themselves. Game 5 was an absolute snore-fest…it lacked everything that was on full display in game 3. As for Chevy, he needs to go and before the draft. His elephant talk only re-enforced his ability to talk non stop and say nothing…he might fare well as a politician. The players need to own this, and all they could do was display their hurt feelings. WTF?? Chipman, on the other hand, is running a business and the no-shows in the seats should sound off alarm bells. He even made a plea to the public late in the season to buy into the pride and passion of the Jets. Fans are not satisfied with mediocrity anymore…as evident in the drop in ticket sales. I could go on for pages, but in conclusion, I will say I am super pissed off at this organization for ignoring the basic needs of this team and just being content as also rans…

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Les, thanks for visiting … I got exactly what I expected out of Chevy … I’m shocked at Mark Chipman’s silence and his lack of accountability … this is his mess.

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