Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 10

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. You’ve been warned.

1. Jets:  The pre-season games are over now and the good guys finished with a record of 4-1-1.  I’m not sure what you can take from this outside of the obvious that it’s better than being 1-4-1.  What I took from this pre-season was that the Winnipeg Jets finally had some legitimate competition in the bottom six forwards and in the final defence pairing and jobs weren’t gifted but earned. 

2. JetsDavid Rittich’s 5-0 shutout on Wednesday versus Calgary was a very positive sign for me and it wasn’t a cheezy pre-season game where the Flames mailed it in.  Rittich was tested early and often, earning his shutout.       

3. Jets:  HOT TAKE #1 – If Ville Heinola makes the opening night roster and I think he does, I would start looking at trading Neil Pionk for a big-body, stay-at-home defenceman that can kill penalties and be a force in front of Connor Hellebuyck.  

4. Jets:  I can’t say I’m surprised—another right-handed shooting dman leaving town.  

5. Jets:  Are the Jets a better team with or without Blake Wheeler?

Would the Winnipeg Jets be a better team with or without their former captain?

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6. Jets:  I haven’t been happy with how Chevy handled his overabundance of defencemen but I also thought that Chevy did a nice job signing some decent lower-end UFAs like Saku Maenalanen and Sam Gagne.  Gagne is a former 6th overall pick that still has a very good skill set and can play on the PP and up and down the lineup when needed.  This was a very nice, sneaky signing by Chevy. 

7. Jets:  The Jets have made their decision on Brad Lambert and they want to keep him close to home where they can watch him develop at close range while having the option to recall him if warranted.  

8. ICE:  The Canadian Hockey League announced their Week 1 edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2022-23 season.

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings (Oct.5) – Week 1

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. Quebec Remparts
3. Seattle Thunderbirds
4. Sherbrooke Phoenix
5. Kamloops Blazers
6. Gatineau Olympiques
7. Guelph Storm
8. Owen Sound Attack
9. Flint Firebird
10. Portland Winterhawks

9. Jets:  Fans always get caught up in the hoopla of free agency hoping their team is in on the big names available but most of these players never live up to those contracts.  Can you imagine how ugly that $7,000,000, seven-year contract for 32-year-old Nazem Kadri will look in 2-3 years?  Don’t get me wrong, I like Kadri and I would love to see him on the Jets but not for seven years.  That’s the price of doing business in today’s NHL.  To make matters worse in his first four years he has a full no-movement clause and in the final three years, he has a thirteen-team no-trade list.     

10. MooseAs per the recommendation of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program,  goaltender Mikhail Berdin, will not remain with the club for the 2022-23 National Hockey League season and the rights of the club and player will be treated like a suspended player.  Berdin will not be paid by the Jets club and his salary will not count against the salary cap.  Berdin will be permitted to sign a one-year contract to play outside of North America for the 2022-23 season.  I’m guessing with the turmoil going on in Russia he wanted to be closer to his family.  We wish the “Birdman” well.

11. Jets:  What do you think of Chevy’s work this offseason?  

Are you happy with Chevy's work so far this off-season?

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12. Jets:  Important Dates:  

October 14:  First regular season home game vs NYR.

October 17:  First regular season road game at Dallas.

13. ICE:  Hometown boy Carson Lambos has been named the Captain of the Winnipeg ICE.  The 19-year-old was selected by Minnesota in the first round, 26th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft.

14. Jets: 

How many games will backup goalie David Rittch start?

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15. Jets: 

 Mitch Kasprick Oct.3

I have been a supporter of Jansen Harkins for quite some time but my patience with him is wearing thin.  It is time to shit or get off the pot and do something.  I see a lot of competition for that 3rd-line LW position.  TICK-TOCK.    

16. Jets:  After reassigning Jansen Harkins, the Winnipeg Jets are left with 24 players in camp and need to cut one more by Tuesday.

FYI:  Hark cleared waiver and will report to the Manitoba Moose.

Projected lines:

Connor – Scheifele – Ehlers

Perfetti – Dubois – Wheeler

Barron*/Maenalanen* – Lowry – Appleton

Barron*/Maenalanen*/Toninato – Gustafsson – Gagne

Projected pairings:

Morrissey – DeMelo

Dillon – Pionk

Schmidt – Heinola*

Samberg* – Stanley





*Waiver exempt


Axel Jonsson-Fjällby was a fifth round pick of the Washinton Capitals in 2016.  He made his NHL debut last season after scoring 34 points in 44 games with the Hershey Bears.  Jets now have 25 players in camp.

UPDATE:  It looks like Ville Heinola is a victim of his waiver exempt status and has been sent to the Manitoba Moose. 

UPDATE:  The final move for now is Mason Appleton to the IR which gets the roster down to 23.

17. Jets:  I don’t know if they knew we were listening but kudos to the radio play-by-play voices of the Calgary Flames, Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias on their call of the Jets/Flames simulcast on the Jets website Friday night.  They were very objective, knowledgeable about the Jets, and at times very complimentary of our team.  Now that I think of it, they had to know we were listening.  Either way, it was a good call by them.  Big thumbs up.  

18. Jets:  I like the overall makeup of this Jets team as it stands right now but I am a little concerned about the lack of size on our back end.  There is lots of compete back there but not a lot of strength.  I don’t count Logan Stanley because I don’t think he will be a top-6 defenceman so we are very small on the blue line and easily get out-muscled in front of Helle.

19. Jets:  So far the early returns on Rick Bowness have been positive but now the real shootin’ starts and all bets are off.  In a results-driven business, it usually comes down to, “what have you done for me lately?”   

20. Jets: HOT TAKE #2 –  I think Barry Trotz likes this Jets roster and wanted a chance to work with this core group along with some of the upcoming prospects and that’s why Chevy didn’t make wholesale changes.  At some point, I think Barry Trotz is still going to be the coach of this team.




  1. George BAIN says

    Hey Mitch, totally agree with your points #3, #9, #18, and #19. I would like to see a big bodied, stay at home defenseman on our roster!

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