Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine Edition

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:  There has been an awful lot of conversation about Patrik Laine trade rumours and unfortunately that is probably going to dominate Winnipeg Jets news until he is actually traded or until he signs a long-term contract extension so these random thoughts will be no different. It looks like another two and a half months of speculation and angst in Winnipeg.

2. Jets:  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I believe the team that gets the best player in a trade always wins the trade and in this case, I have no doubt that Laine will be the best player in any deal he is in.    

3. Jets: In my opinion, there is no correlation between the Paul Stastny trade and the Winnipeg Jets trading or not trading Patrik Laine.  The Jets needed a second-line center no matter who is on the right-wing of the second line.  

4. Jets:  I previously mentioned that you probably won’t win a trade involving Laine BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t think you can improve your team.  The Jets could acquire a couple of pieces that improve the team on a short-term and maybe even one or both on a long-term basis, but you won’t be getting a potential generational talent in return. 

5. WJC:  Here is some good news for the holiday season.  The U20 WJC will be held in Edmonton in the “bubble” albeit with no fans so the Christmas tradition continues.

6. Jets:  A lot of the Paul Maurice haters are having a field day with the Patrik Laine rumours placing the blame directly on the coach.  To be honest I don’t have a lot of issues with Maurice’s handling of Laine but I do have an issue with his usage of Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers.  If there is one player that has a reason to bitch about his usage on the Winnipeg Jets it is Ehlers, not Patrik Laine, and sure as shit, not Jack Roslovic. 

7. Jets:  It was a quiet week in Jetsville as far as actual trades or UFA signings.  Jets fans still hoping for an impact UFA signing or trade.

8. NHL:  I posted this last week but I’m leaving it up because I think it is important and needs more discussion.

I’m not a fan of no-trade and no-movement clauses.  Players shouldn’t be able to have it all, big money and term and then piling on with no-movement clauses.  In my opinion, NTCs and NMCs actually create an unfair playing field within the NHL and it hampers the ability for GMs to make trades.  The NHL has enough imbalance with teams in certain states having no taxes and warmer climates.  This makes it tougher on a lot of markets and especially Canadian teams.  I would propose some sort of grandfathering out of NMC and NTCs.  It would be for the good of the game and level the playing field a little bit although I don’t see the NHLPA ever agreeing to that and unfortunately, I don’t see the owners picking that as a hill they want to die on during collective bargaining   If I were an owner in a Canadian market I would be pushing for it.  By the way, when was the last time a Canadian team was in the Stanley Cup Final?  Hmmm. 

9. Jets:  Looking back at the free-agent period as we stand today the Winnipeg Jets have improved their team basically because of the Dylan DeMelo signing and the Paul Stastny trade but the problem is a lot of teams in the Western Conference improved their teams more.  

10. NHL:  It looks like Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley may have inadvertently spilled the beans last week about there being a Canadian Division this coming season. 

When asked about trading defenceman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks, a division rival, Foley explained why he wasn’t concerned.

They’re going to play in the Canadian Division this year.  I don’t think that border’s going to be open before January 1st.  I really don’t.  Cause Canada’s got spikes going on, they’re starting to lock down again.  Winnipeg’s locking down.  Quebec has got spikes going down.  I think they’re going to play in a Canadian division.  I don’t think they’re going to cross the border.”

I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago and it makes total sense because I didn’t think a bubble was feasible until playoff time.

11. Jets:  After a lot of Jack Roslovic trade banter it got quiet awfully fast after Nate Schmidt was traded to Vancouver.  Vancouver getting Schmidt for a third-round pick still irritates the hell out of me and you wonder why I rant about the NTCs.  (see #8)

12. Jets:  Although I do believe there have been talks about a Laine trade, I wouldn’t be surprised if every GM in the NHL has contacted Kevin Chelveldayoff multiple times over the past four years.  I still believe these rumours are agent-driven.  I would like to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth before I get bent out of shape.    

13. Jets:  Some of the Patrik Laine trade rumours that are out there are so laughable I wish these guys coming up with this stuff were in my hockey pools.   



Will Patrik Laine be traded?

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15. Jets:  For the record, I believe Patrik Laine should be on the Winnipeg Jets top line with Mark Scheifele and the other winger should be Nikolaj Ehlers.  Paul Maurice has let Scheif and Blake Wheeler have their way and play together and their preference is to have Kyle Connor as their left-winger.  This is a pure case of letting the inmates run the asylum.  Maurice has been and is criticized for this and it is a legitimate bone of contention with some fans but wouldn’t caving into Laine’s demands be the same thing. 

16. Jets:  I love Patrik Laine and I love it when he scores with that one-timer on the Jets PP but let’s not forget he is not a perfect player and he is still a work in process.  Laine made some good strides this past season and he will only get better and maybe playing him on the second line wasn’t/isn’t the end of the world.  Mark Scheifele and Kyle Conner aren’t exactly defensive juggernauts and that is being extremely kind. 

17. Jets:  Even if Patrik Laine doesn’t his way and has to slum it with Paul Stastny and Nikolaj Ehlers for a year doesn’t he realize that Blake Wheeler won’t be the first-line right-winger forever, hell Mark Scheifele might not even be the first-line center in a couple of years.  Maybe Patrik should stake his claim on the right-wing with Cole Perfetti before Blake Wheeler does.  Of course, I jest but make no bones about it the Jets top line in three seasons will be Ehlers-Perfetti-Laine.  Book it.  

18. Jets:  I remember the days when coaches coached and players shut their mouths and played.  I realize it is a different world now and today’s players need to be coddled a little more but at some point, you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself if it is about you or the team?  If the answer isn’t the team it is time to pack your bags and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.   

19. Jets:  Even though I’ve said you can’t let the inmates run the asylum if it came down to choosing between Paul Maurice and Patrik Laine, I choose Laine.  I pay to watch Patrik Laine play, not to watch Paul Maurice coach.  You can’t lose a potential generational player for a middle-of-the-road coach and this thought goes completely against my grain.

20. Jets:  Patrik Laine will not be traded. Winnipeg is good.    


In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch






















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