Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Sept. 27

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. NHL:  Main camps have officially opened in NHL cities and there is as much talk about who is and who isn’t vaccinated as there is about the actual hockey.  I guess this is the new world we live in now.  

2. Jets:  Update for Jets fans wanting to attend training camp, the IcePlex will be open to watching practice but there are rules. 

  • Fans will be allowed to into the rinks to watch. 
  • Seating will be limited. to 250 people max per rink.
  • Spectators need to be fully vaccinated and have proof  (QR code or physical card) and one piece of government-issued photo ID.

3. Jets Sami ​Niku has been placed on waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.

I’ve always been a Sami Niku supporter but I find it hard to believe that he was untradeable and that nobody claimed him on waivers.  Niku is a gifted offensive defenceman on an NHL minimum contract.  There must be more to it than meets the eye but Sami Niku had fallen so far down the Jets depth chart that you had to call before you dig.

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 24

The Montreal Canadiens officially announced the signing of Sami Niku.  He will earn $750,000 in the NHL and $425,000 if assigned to the minors,

4. Jets: The first day of camp and Paul Maurice announces this.  I hope I’m not reading too much into it.  This season Nate should be a depth guy and not see the lineup unless there is an injury in the newly minted top-six.   

5. NHL:  The NHL sent a memo updating vaccination requirements to its teams:

“Any person whose job, role, position or access entails or entitles them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.”  

The first thought that came to mind was why is everybody involved with the teams required to be vaccinated with the exception of the players?  This makes ZERO sense to me.  Then this got me wondering if I would want to know which players on my team weren’t vaccinated and how I would feel about them if I knew? 

Would you want to know the vaccination status of your favourite teams players and would it change how you feel about them?

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This was from the captain on Thursday morning.

6. Jets:  Dylan Samberg, high ankle sprain. 6-8 weeks, as per Kevin Cheveldayoff.  This is a tough break for Samberg but he probably wasn’t a threat to make the big club’s roster to start the season.  

7. Jets:  Upcoming events.

Sept. 26 – First pre-season game vs Ottawa. (TSN 3)

Oct. 13 – First regular-season game at Anaheim.

Oct. 21 – Home opener vs Anaheim.

8. Jets:  After the Winnipeg Jets announced that the team was fully vaccinated Connor Hellebuyck reported he contracted covid-19 just a month before camp.

“It was right around the time when I started feeling camp-ready,” Hellebuyck said as the Jets skated for the first time, Thursday. “And I was really excited about where the summer was heading. And then I got it and it set me back two weeks. My symptoms were a very bad headache, really bad fatigue. I felt like I couldn’t really move a whole lot.”

At the time Helle was unvaccinated but said he started to feel like himself again after about 10 days.

“I’m not anti-vax by any means,” Hellebuyck said. “But I’d like to have that decision for myself. It felt very forced on me. I had just gotten COVID and gotten over it, and then I had to get the vax. Which made me feel like I had COVID all over again.”

Every person has their own personal reasons for getting vaccinated or not getting vaccinated but I wonder why Helle waited to get vaccinated so close to training camp?  Based on this information, Helle would have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is only a single jab or he wouldn’t have been able to travel to Canada.  Something about this seems a little off to me.  Like I said, what was he waiting for?   

9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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10. Jets:  Just when the Winnipeg Jets get bigger and tougher with Brenden Dillon and Logan Stanley.  All kidding aside, enforcement of this rule is long overdue but I’ll believe it when I see it.  I have no doubt it will be enforced early on but talk to me at playoff time.  

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11. NHL:  The NHL has completed its gambling investigation of ex-Jet Evander Kane and says it has found no evidence that the San Jose Sharks forward bet on his own games.

12. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets played their first pre-season game last night and lost 3-2 to the Ottawa Senators.  Both teams dressed a roster with mostly prospects along with the mandated 8 legit NHL players.  It was the first game of the pre-season so it’s not the time for overreacting to the positive or the negative.  The veteran players really stood out and a few of the young kids made decent impressions as well.  Newcomers Riley Nash and Brendan Dillon look like great new additions while young players like Jansen Harkins, Cole Perfetti, David Gustafsson, and Ville Heinola looked promising.  I would have liked to have seen a little more from Kristian Vesalainen and Evgeny Svechnikov but they both had their moments while Eric Comrie has some work to do to change my opinion of him. 

13. Jets:  The line of Andrew Copp, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Nikolaj Ehlers looked formidable last night and they could end up starting the year together but Copp’s lack of finishing skill shows why he is a good third-line winger and not a top-six winger.  You can try a put lipstick on a pig but underneath it’s still a pig.  

14. NHL:  Ex-Jet Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks now faces sexual assault and domestic violence allegations, according to court documents.  

The San Jose Sharks say Evander Kane will not participate in training camp until further notice, in light of recent allegations that they take “very seriously.”

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are 6-1  after their bye week and hold a one-game lead over Saskatchewan going into their game versus BC on Friday night.

16.  Jets:  It was nice and it felt a little strange seeing fans in the stands last night.

*

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch

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