Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: July 18

Things about the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL that crossed my mind —

Some random facts and a few thoughts from this past week about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, and the National Hockey League.

1.  Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets knocked two more players off the “to do list” last week by signing Adam Lowry and Joel Armia for two more seasons.  Both players have signed two-year, one-way contracts.  Armia’s contract carries an AAV of $925,000 while Lowry’s AAV is $1.125 million per season.  The remaining RFAs to be signed are Brandon Tanev, JC Lipon, and the big fish, Jacob Trouba.

2.  With Jacob Trouba still unsigned  it’s fun hearing the trade rumours and speculation.  My favorite was James van Riemsdyk for Trouba.  I actually like JVR but that’s wishful thinking coming out of Toronto.  Didn’t the Leafs get JVR for Luke Schenn a couple of years ago?  Trouba for Schenn would be one helluva upgrade, wouldn’t it?

3.  Last week’s poll question was “Which Winnipeg Jets veteran forward jobs are in peril next season?”  To no one’s surprise, Anthony Peluso was the runaway leader.  The surprising part of the vote was that Alexander Burmistrov was in second place, just slightly ahead of Chris Thorburn.  A lot of Jets fans still haven’t forgiven Burmistrov for bolting to the KHL while others are disappointed that he hasn’t developed into the scoring center he seemed to be in the OHL.   

4.  George McPhee has been named the GM of the NHL’s new expansion franchise in Las Vegas.  I wonder if owner Bill Foley asked him about the Martin Erat for Filip Forsberg trade?     

5.  This announcement has opened up a can of worms in this city and I understand the concerns of many Jets fans.


6.  You know the old saying … “where there’s smoke, there’s fire?”  It seems like every day there are more and more stories about Jacob Trouba not liking Winnipeg and wanting to be elsewhere.  Whether it’s a friend or a friend of a friend, it starts to make you wonder.  I’m not quite there yet but I am starting to wonder what the hold-up is on his signing .          

7.  Obviously not a fan of my “Random Thoughts”.  


8.   Countdown to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey:  62 days (Sept. 17) in Toronto, Ont.  The final rosters of 20 skaters and 3 goalies are posted here >>> Rosters   

9.  Countdown to the 2016 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic: 98 days (Oct. 23) in Winnipeg, MB.   

10.  I was in my teens when Bobby Hull and the Winnipeg Jets joined the fledgling WHA in 1972.  When Hull signed his contract at the corner of Portage and Main, I was there like thousands of other rabid hockey fans in disbelief that Winnipeg just hijacked one of the biggest names in the NHL.  As the years passed, we all started hearing the whispers and rumours about his private life and his spousal abuse. Even though we didn’t want to believe it was true, if you hear it enough you start to believe it.  I lost a ton of respect for Bobby Hull and I could never admire him based on his private life.  He was an icon based on his on-ice contributions but his fame and adoration are tainted for me.

BUT, as much as I hated what he had done and especially when it became verified public knowledge, the one thing I can’t do is take away his contributions to this city as a hockey player.  Should he be in the newly created Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame?  As a hockey player?  Absolutely!  As a man?  Absolutely not!  I’m sure TNSE thought long and hard about their decision and probably realized they were in a no-win situation and bit the bullet knowing it was going to create a massive shit storm.  The one way they tried to neutralize it a bit was making their inaugural induction the “Hot Line”.  Yes, Bobby Hull was on the “Hot Line” along with Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson and there is no way they could shun Bobby Hull.  He was a huge part of Winnipeg’s hockey history.

The ironic part is that there have been thousands of people who have benefited and many more that are currently benefiting from that signing back in 1972. When Ben Hatskin signed Bobby Hull at the corner of Portage and Main on June 27, 1972, he put Winnipeg on the hockey map and started a chain reaction.  It began with the WHA Jets, then the NHL Jets 1.0 and then the NHL Jets 2.0.  As much as some hate to admit it, there would be no NHL hockey in Winnipeg if it wasn’t for Bobby Hull and Ben Hatskin.

There are hockey bloggers that get to write about the Winnipeg Jets because of Bobby Hull.  There is morning, afternoon, and evening talk radio personalities, newspaper writers, and television personalities that make their living off the backs of the Winnipeg Jets. This wouldn’t have happened without the signing of Bobby Hull.  Many have already started or will be starting to mount their moral high horse about this issue.  I get it.  Bobby Hull is a bad man.

If these people really feel that passionate about this issue then maybe they shouldn’t be taking a bite out of the forbidden fruit that Bobby Hull helped create in this city.  Think about it.  No Bobby Hull, no NHL, no cushy media jobs. Nobody is asking us to love the man just respect his hockey contribution.  (see #5)

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  1. Ron Lyman says

    Bang on Mitch re Bobby Hull.

  2. Cushy media jobs? Come on Mitch. Until you’ve been there and done that, don’t be saying those kind of things.
    As for the media living off the backs of the Winnipeg Jets, not one sports writer lost his job because the Winnipeg Jets left town in 1996. Conversely, the Winnipeg Free Press did not hire additional staff to cover the club when Jets 2.0 came into being, nor did the Winnipeg Sun.
    Sportswriting jobs have never been dependent on the Jets being in town.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      True and maybe I should have zeroed in on the ones I have a real problem with instead of generalizing. I won’t do that here … for now.

      • If someone is hired specifically to work the Jets beat, she/he should be thanking Ben Hatskin, first and foremost. He made it all happen. There would have been no B. Hull in River City without Benny.
        And that’s all I have to say on the matter…for now.

  3. Some random thoughts on random thoughts…
    * A blog doesn’t always have to be about delivering information. It can be pure opinion, analysis, satire, humor, etc.
    * Many people prefer to read quick hits rather than wade through 700 words of analytical bafflegab or pie-in-the-sky trade suggestions.
    * Anything that prompts thought has merit, no matter how random that thought might be.

  4. FishWhiskey says

    Well, first of all, I like your ramblings Mitch. Keep them up please!
    * I must agree with the voters in having no use for Burmi as a Jet. I find him embarrassing to watch. He looks like a frantic ringette player being chased by zombies. He is the epitome of what we used to call a “hotdog”. All show and no results. According to his HERO stats he is not an NHL calibre player and it burns me that he should take ice time from developing prospects like Copp or Petan who are already far better hockey players and not in a regressive slide like Burmistrov. Oh, and he tends to make his line mates perform about 10% worse having to carry him. I have no idea what Paul Maurice was thinking in luring him back from his “hissy fit” exile in the KHL.
    * I love me some Jacob Trouba and while I too have been hearing the “party boy” stories for some years I can forgive that to youthful spirit so long as its a passing faze. What I do find hard to reconcile about the lad is his choice of player agent. I do not think it speaks well to the character of any player who would seek representation by Kurt Overhardt or Allan Walsh for that matter (Paveliec). I would not have a player represented by either of these “gentlemen” on my team and I suspect there are many GM’s in the league who would agree.
    * Benny Hatskin deserves a very large statue in Winnipeg and many more praises sung.

    Cheers and Ramble On!

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks …. I can’t help but ramble on now … I’ve been doing it for too long now … I was just shocked that a writer from another website would go out of his way to take a pot shot at me … I don’t get it, I’ve always been kind to him.

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