Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 26

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, the Olympics, and the NHL Trade Deadline.  

UPDATE: 

The trade deadline has come and gone and the Winnipeg Jets have made two trades today.  In a major move, Kevin Cheveldayoff acquired Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a first-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, forward Erik Foley and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

In a secondary depth move, the Jets also acquired Joe Morrow from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.  With these two acquisitions, the team has assigned forward Nic Petan and defenceman Tucker Poolman to the Manitoba Moose.  It makes me a happy guy anytime I get a Portland Winterhawks or Prince George Cougars player in the Winnipeg organisation.  

1.  The Winnipeg Jets finished off their 10-game homestand with a loss to L.A. but won two huge Central Division games on the road Friday and Saturday night.  Their overall record is now 37-16-9 for the season and they are in second place in the Central Division.    

2.  The Manitoba Moose played four games this past week going 2-2 and they now have an overall record of 34-15-4-3.  They are still in first place in the AHL’s Central Division and have the best record in the Western Conference.  Rookie, Mason Appleton is continuing his fine season with 51 points in 56 games and one of the top scorers in the entire AHL.     

3 Team Canada’s women (silver) and Team Canada’s men’s (bronze) hockey teams both won medals at the Olympic games and although Canadians want and expect to win the Gold Medal, I am very happy with their effort and damn proud of any colour medal.  Medals, any colour, are forever. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  I’ve mentioned this before and I’m going to mention it again.  I don’t like the way the Jets have handled Tucker Poolman this year.  I firmly believe that young players and especially defencemen need to play.  Poolman never went through the grind of a CHL schedule and really hasn’t played a lot of hockey in the past couple of seasons.  Forty, forty, thirty-eight in his last three seasons at UND and twenty-nine this season between the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose.  For a draft and develop team, I find this a little strange.  Just not enough games in my opinion.     

 5.  FYI:  In the eight games since Mark Scheifele’s return from injury, he and Blake Wheeler have put up an impressive 8 goals and 17 assists.  Add in Kyle Connor’s 5 goals and 2 assists and it was quite obvious why the Dallas Stars were targeting this line and especially Scheif on Saturday night in “Big D”.  Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg and will probably be a nightly occurrence and especially from their rival contenders.    

6.  Can you imagine the amount of backlash there would have been in 1998 on Twitter when the USA Men’s Hockey Team (NHL players) vandalized their rooms in the Olympic Village?  It’s a good thing for them that Twitter wasn’t invented until 2006.  My point is this kind of puts Jocelyne Larocque taking off her Silver Medal in perspective.

I can’t help but wonder what this tweeter would have said about that?  This was just one of the thousands of tweets from people chirping from their moral high-ground.  I only have one thing to say about this …


7. I grew up in an era without NHL players at the Olympics and although I enjoy the best on best I think I could live without it.  I wonder if hockey fans remember how bad the hockey was in the NHL with the compressed schedule during Olympic years.  As a season ticket holder for two NHL teams, I’m not sure it is worth the trade-off?     

8.  NHL Trade Deadline:  The day when so-called rational men lose their minds.  Case in point, Boston GM, Don Sweeney.  What he gave up for rental player Rick Nash is absolutely ridiculous.  It cost Boston a 1st round pick in 2018, a 7th round pick in 2019, prospect defenceman Ryan Lindgren as well as roster players Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey.  Is this a joke?

There was also a rumour that Montreal wanted Kyle Connor or Jack Roslovic for Tomas Plekanec.  REALLY!  I guess it never hurts to ask.  After all, George McPhee (Washington) sent Filip Forsberg to Nashville for Martin Erat a couple of years ago.  If these are the prices for rental players, I would just prefer Chevy to stay the course and not get involved in this lunacy.  

Are you happy with what the Winnipeg Jets did at the trade deadline?

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9.  I remember how pissed off I was in 1998 when Team Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey Team mailed it in during the Bronze Medal game versus Finland.  I’ve always felt that winning an Olympic Medal was an accomplishment.  I’m sure that every player on that 1998 team wishes they had that Bronze Medal from Nagano now.  (see #3)  

10.  Patrik Laine is in a nice groove right now and he is firing lasers night after night and his running mate, Nik Ehlers, has done a nice job of finding him in open ice.  Who would have ever imagined these two being on a third line in the NHL?  

11.  A Random Thought from Manny (Darryl Manchulenko):  

  • Manny wonders what the over/under is on the number of games Ryan Reaves will actually dress for the Vegas Golden Knights? 
  • After the trades today and with the team getting healthier, I wonder what is going through the minds of Nik Petan, Joel Armia, Marko Dano, Brandon Tanev, Matt Hendricks, Tucker Poolman, Shawn Matthias, and Michael Hutchinson  

12.  Pet Peeve:  This  … ???      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is that player allowed to stand in the crease and why would that goaltender, in this case, James Reimer let him?  When is the NHL going to get it through their heads and pass it on to their officials that the blue paint in the goalie crease belongs to the goalie?  During the Dallas game, Patrik Laine tried to do the same thing and Ben Bishop just moved to the top of the blue paint and forced him out.  Now I don’t know what I would do about this because in the grand scheme of things it’s not even close to the many problems in this league.  The NHL has bigger fish to fry like goaltender interference, the offside challenges, and the number of iffy icing calls every game.  I can’t help it but this thing just irritates the crap out of me.  I liked the old days better when goalies were allowed (to a point) to police their goal crease.  YES, I am a curmudgeon!   

13.   You would have to be an idiot or really love Erik Karlsson if you would give the Ottawa Senators a 1st round pick, a roster player, and a top prospect(s) AND then take Bobby Ryan and his $7,500,000 cap hit for the next four years.  The sad part is somebody will do it.  Maybe not at the trade deadline but maybe this summer.  

14.  I’ve been reading for years that the NHL with never be considered an equal to the “big three” sports (NFL, NBA, and MLB) in the USA because it’s a league that allows fighting.  I wonder what people would think about the NHL if an expansion team won the Stanley Cup?       

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  How do you feel about Vegas GM George McPhee after the Derrick Brassard trade?      

16.  My Top Trade Targets:  So far, a few big names have been dealt like Dion Phaneuf, Derrick Brassard, Rick Nash, and Tomas Plekanec (if you call him a big name).  A couple of 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.  I know a lot a lot of Jets fans are pissed at Vegas GM George McPhee for his part in the Derrick Brassard trade BUT these type of trades happen all the time.  Team “A” acquires player “A” so team “B” doesn’t get him.  It is a sound strategy.  What I don’t understand and I know I’m not alone, is why?  Why would Vegas help Pittsburgh by taking on a healthy part of Brassard’s salary and then take on Ryan Reaves as well?  In the original deal, Vegas wasn’t even getting a player.  This is why the NHL vetoed the trade.  So with all due respect to Winnipegger Ryan Reaves, is that the best McPhee could do?  He had the Pens right where he wanted them.  This trade stinks on many levels and it’s not just sour grapes from me.  I’m sure McPhee’s and Chevy’s future conversations could be interesting.  I think a new rivalry might have been started and it has nothing to do with anything on the ice.  Well, maybe James Neal’s chop to Helle’s face but you know what I mean.       

18.  It was nice to see ex-Jets/IceCaps player Eric O’Dell be an important part of Team Canada’s Bronze Medal in Pyeongchang.  He was a faceoff beast and a longshot to make the team but there he was.  He has actually had a couple of pretty good years in the KHL.  Check out his numbers here >>> Eric O’Dell – Sochi HC.        

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  32-9-8 … 2.32 GAA … .924 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  3-6-1 … 3.52 GAA … .897 SV% … (currently on IR)
  • Michael Hutchinson:  2-0-0 … 2.00 GAA … .933 SV%

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

  • PP:  3rd at 24.40% … up from 23.90% last week.    
  • PK:  6th at 82.80% … up from 82.70 last week.  

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Thanks, Mitch 

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