Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 19

Odds and Ends on the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL –

Some random facts and a few thoughts about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, the National Hockey League, and some information about the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Hockey Tournament.  

Current Local Time in PyeongChang, South Korea

PyeongChang local time is fifteen hours ahead of Manitoba local time.

1.  The Winnipeg Jets continued their 10-game homestand with three wins this past week.  Their overall record is now 35-15-9 for the season and they are in first place in the Central Division.    

2.  The Manitoba Moose played two games last week going 0-2 and were shutout in back to back games.  Their top players being called up by the Winnipeg Jets has obviously caught up with them.  They now have an overall record of 32-13-4-3.  They are still in first place in the AHL’s Central Division and have the best record in the Western Conference.  

3 The playoff rounds have started in Women’s Olympic Hockey and the Men’s start today.  In women’s action, Canada defeated Russia (5-0) and the USA beat Finland (5-0) in the semi-finals and will play for the Gold Medal on Wednesday night (Thursday in PyeongChang) at 10:10 MB Time.  Although none of the games have been re-scheduled so far, the final could still be subject to change.

If Canada wants to win their record fifth straight Gold Medal, their goaltender, Szabados Shannon or Genevieve Lacasse will have to be the best player on the ice.  Genevieve Lacasse and her goalposts were the only reason Canada beat the USA (2-1) in their round-robin game.  The Americans had twice as many shots as Canada and outplayed the Canadians for most of the game.  As usual, everything in the past gets thrown out the window when these two teams meet.  It should be another epic battle.     

4.  The Canadian Men’s Hockey Team will play the winner of the qualification round game between Finland and South Korea in the quarter-finals on Wednesday morning at 6:10 MB Time.  The medal round games will start on Thursday.















5.  FYI:  Seattle has officially filed their application to the NHL for an expansion franchise.  So, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they pay the $650,000,000 and get accepted into the NHL.  They would probably begin playing in 2020-21 or 2021-22 and definitely in the Pacific Division.  Now the plot has thickened.  Who would the NHL move from the Pacific Division to the Central?   

6.  If there was pari-mutuel betting during the Winnipeg Jets skill competition, what do you think the morning line would have been for Brendan Lemieux to win the fastest skater?  You have to figure Nik Ehlers, Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, Mark Scheifele, and Blake Wheeler would be favourites ahead of him.  Can anybody out there in Jetsville actually say they thought he was the fastest player?  Well, Lemieux won it and his reward was that he was promptly dispatched back to the Manitoba Moose. 

7.  There has been a lot of controversy in the NHL about what is and what isn’t goaltender interference and there is no doubt the spirit of the offside rule needs to be looked as well.  These two are definitely is the hot-button topics for 2018 BUT the NHL might as well revisit what is and what isn’t icing as well.  I  find a lot of the icing calls every game are very inconsistent and a lot of times questionable.      

8.  NHL Trade Deadline:

What should Chevy do at the trade deadline?

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9.  Pet Peeve:  Players that swing their sticks at pucks that are three feet over their heads.  They all do it.  I don’t get it.  It’s obviously a reflex but what is it based on?  Playing badminton at the beach?  Not only does it make them look stupid, it’s dangerous.  What possible good can come from this?  It boggles my mind and we see it night after night     

10.  We’ve seen “Good Buff”, “Bad Buff”, “Mad Buff”, “Pouty Buff”, and Friday night we saw “Singing Buff”.  Actually, we saw “Singing Buff” after he was “Bad Buff” and sent to the penalty box for seventeen minutes for being “Mad Buff” after Colorado’s A. J. Greer gave Blake Wheeler a little shot.  I’m all Buff’d out now.



















11.  A not so “Random Thought” from me but from Manny:  Manny (Darryl Manchulenko) actually had two. 

  • How would Jets fans react or feel if Chevy did nothing at the trade deadline?
  • Should fans really care about the cost of a trade deadline deal?  

12.  On Tuesday night versus the Washington Capitals, the Winnipeg Jets were fifteen seconds away from a third consecutive loss and putting their whole fanbase into “full tilt” mode.  It’s hard enough to tie up a game in the last-minute by pulling your goalie and the odds are even greater when your shorthanded and you pull your goalie but in some sort of divine intervention the Winnipeg Jets tied the game with fifteen seconds left and won it in overtime.  There were already a lot of Jets fans with one foot out on the ledge but Scheif and Myers saved the day and got the win.  All is good again.  I think we might have the most fragile fanbase in the league and sometimes the angst is hilarious.  Oh well!       

13.  I find it interesting that Eric Comrie is still considered a top prospect but yet he isn’t even as good as Michael Hutchinson and in my opinion, he might not ever be as good as Hutch.  Of course, I might be a little biased because I’ve always been a Michael Hutchinson supporter. 

14.  Is it just me or does the women’s game seem to get more and more physical as time passes?    

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Do you have any interest in bringing Ilya Kovalchuk back to the franchise that drafted him?  What do you think it would cost? 

With the Olympic games currently going on, there has been a little bit of a spotlight on Kovy and lots of rumours about him returning to the NHL but I think he is happy making tons of money and playing in the KHL.          

16.  My Top Trade Targets:  So far, the only big name traded was Dion Phaneuf.  He was traded along with Nate Thompson to the L.A. Kings for Marion Gaborik and Nick Shore.  My faves are still available but I’m not holding my breath for a big Jets deal.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Chevy does nothing at the deadline.        

  • Niklas Hjalmarsson … UFA in 2019-20 … $4,100,000 AAV … can play anywhere in the top 6 …  Modified NTC (10-team no-trade list)
  • Mike Hoffman … UFA in 2020-21 … $5,187,500 AAV … top six winger
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson … UFA in 2019-20 … $5,500,000 AAV … top 4 … needs a change of scenery as well
  • Derek Brassard … UFA in 2019-20 … $5,000,000 AAV … 3rd line center … Modified NTC (8-team no-trade list)

17.  Mark Scheifele looks like he is back to normal.  He has been up to his old tricks and has put up eight points (3G and 5A) in the five games since returning from his injury.  The top line of Scheif, Kyle Conner, and Blake Wheeler were dominant and looked extremely dangerous in their last two games.  My only problem with this trio is they sometimes get a little sloppy in the defensive zone around their blue line and prematurely jump the zone.  These three forwards have enough speed and shouldn’t have to cheat and fly the zone.  


Mark Scheifele has been named the NHL’s “Third Star” of the Week for the week ending Feb. 18/18.  Scheif had seven points on three goals and four assists and was a plus-seven in the three games.

18.  I know Winnipeg Jets fans love their prospects and think they will all eventually play in the NHL for the home team but the reality is they won’t.  As the NHL team gets stronger, it gets harder to crack the lineup.  It wasn’t long ago that fans were all excited about Scott Kosmachuk, Nik Petan, and Chase De Leo.  Kosmo is gone, De Leo is an AHL lifer, and Petan is a tweener that will probably need to be traded to a different team if he wants to be an NHLer.  Each NHL team is allowed 50 contracts and fans need to be aware that.  The Jets are currently at 43 but that will probably increase this summer with Vesalainen and others looking for their ELCs.  Prospects are currency and the Jets are flush with currency and might spend some this trade deadline.  It’s not the end of the world and it just means the club is deep in talent.  Look what happened in Toronto.  They traded Nikita Soshnikov for a fourth-round pick because they had 50 players under contract and already had 23 men on the NHL roster.  They now have a spot open if they want to make a deadline deal.  It’s part of the biz.                

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  31-8-8 … 2.33 GAA … .923 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  3-6-1 … 3.52 GAA … .897 SV% … (currently on IR)

20.  Special Teams:  Rule of thumb.  Have the two red numbers total at least 100% when added.  (as your minimum) 

  • PP:  3rd at 23.90% … up from 2nd at 23.60% last week.    
  • PK:  7th at 82.70% … same as last week.  

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If you have any thoughts on any of these comments or questions, please let me know.  We would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks, Mitch 

Use the “Comment Section” below.


  1. Wayne Knutson says

    Hi Mitch.
    Regarding Seattle, if $500 Million gets a draft like VGK got, what type of draft will $650 get?
    I would be surprised if Chevy did anything. The salaries of some of the players worth having are too high, and the ask would probably be prospects/players he won’t part with.
    I would be very surprised if Kovalchuk gets an offer from any team.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I think the expansion process will be the same …. teams might be better prepared and smarter with who they expose though.

  2. I heard Ehlers fell in the fastest skater competition.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      well that would explain it …. to be honest, I thought it would be between Ehlers and Connor

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