Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Sept. 6

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. IIHF:  It’s official, NHL players will be going to the Olympics. 

The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that they have concluded an Agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that confirms a break in the 2021-22 NHL Regular Season Schedule, subject to terms of the Agreement, in order to accommodate the participation of NHL Players in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Agreement allows for the possibility of a later decision to withdraw in the event evolving Covid conditions are deemed by the NHL/NHLPA to render participation by NHL Players to be impractical or unsafe. 

2. NHL:  The Montreal Canadiens have chosen not to match the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet and instead accept the compensation of Carolina’s 1st and 3rd round draft picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.  To be honest I wasn’t surprised by their decision. 

3. JetsIt has been very quiet in Jetsville but now with the NHL players going to the Olympics we have 4-5 months to speculate on which Winnipeg Jets players will be participating.  

4. Team Canada:  Congrats to Team Canada!  The Canadian women have won their first women’s World Hockey Championship in almost a decade on Tuesday night when Marie-Philip Poulin sniped the game-winner seven minutes into the 3 on 3 overtime.   

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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6. NHL:  Based on a lot of the contracts being signed in the last couple of years there seems to be an interesting shift in philosophy.  Players are getting paid a lot more money in their second contracts than in the past.  There are fewer and fewer bridge deals and teams are now paying for potential.  Conversely, older players are getting paid less and not being paid for past performances.  It is an interesting dynamic.

7. Jets:  I would say that Connor Hellebuyck and Nikolaj Ehlers are the only two locks to be going to the Olympics with Kyle Connor probably being close to a lock.  Others that will garner some consideration should be Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, and possibly Josh Morrissey and Neal Pionk.  Of course, a lot will depend on early-season play and injuries.  Let the speculation begin. 

I see an Olympic games poll in our future.

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8. Olympics:  Here are the groups for the hockey competition in February.  

Group A:  Canada, USA, Germany, China

Group B:  ROC, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Denmark

Group C:  Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia

9. NHL:  Of all the RFAs out there Jesperi Kotkaniemi is one of the last players I’d try and get to sign an offer sheet so there is little doubt that this was purely a revenge signing by Carolina no matter what they say. 

10. 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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11. Jets I wonder if Ville Heinola will get any consideration for the Finnish team in Beijing?  I’ve been reading that he could be a dark horse although he is way down the Finn’s depth chart but things can change real fast in the world of hockey.  

12. Jets:  Upcoming events.

Sept. 26 – First pre-season game vs Ottawa.

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

Oct. 21 – Home opener vs Anaheim.

13. Jets: It’s only been a couple of days since the NHL announced they are going to the Olympics and the mock line-ups have already started and I’m seeing an awful lot of boards with Mitch Marner on it and not a lot with Mark Scheifele.  The eastern/Toronto bias has already started.  I would take Scheif over Marner ANY day of the week and twice on Sundays.   

14. IIHF:  The host team getting an automatic entry into all the Olympic events isn’t always a good idea and this year is one of those years.  It is going to be ugly when China plays Canada and the USA in hockey.  I really hope teams don’t run up the scores and then blame it on goals for and against being used as tie-breakers.  (see #8)  

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers completely shut down Cody Fajardo and the Saskatchewan offence and took over first place in the west with a grinding 23-8 win in the LDC.  Zach Collaros and Andrew Harris were tough as nails while the receivers made clutch catches when called upon in a very physical game.  Also, this was certainly not the secondary we saw last week versus Calgary.  The Bombers go into the Banjo Bowl with a 4-1 record. 


In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch

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