Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Aug. 23

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. Jets:  It was pretty quiet in Jetsville and around the NHL this week but there were a couple minor things to report.   

2. Jets:  Evgeny Svechnikov (the Detroit one) has signed a one-year contract for the 2021-22 season with the Mantoba Moose and will be on a PTO with the Winnipeg Jets.  It is being reported that if he shows up at camp healthy after having off-season surgery he will be signed to a two-way contract with the Jets.  I don’t see a downside to this signing. 

3. Jets:  The Svechnikov signing is an interesting, low risk signing by the Winnipeg Jets.  Svechnikov, who turns 25 on Oct. 31 was one of the younger free agents out there that still had some upside.  He has some familiarity with a friendly face in Winnipeg as he played with centre Pierre-Luc Dubois in junior with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.  Svechkikov is a left shot winger who plays on the right side and at 6’3 and 210 lbs will add some size and skill to whatever line he joins.

4. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets signed 2021 3rd rounder Dmitry Kuzmin to a three-year, entry-level contract with an average annual value in the NHL of $866,667.  He tallied 12 points (3G, 9A) in 46 games with Dinamo-Molodechno of the Belarus league. He also had five points (1G, 4A) in five games for Belarus at the U18 World Championship.  This upcoming season Kuzmin will be playing defence for the OHL’s Flint Firebirds.

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. Jets:  Evgeny Svechnikov and PLD played together off and on in Cape Breton and put up some big numbers as linemates.  Maybe being reunited can give them both a kick-start next season. (see #3) 

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7. IIHF:  Team Canada is off to a 2-0 start at the 2021 WWC.  This team is still a work in progress and not the official team heading to the Olympics and to me they look a little slow and tentative in the scoring areas but I really like the team’s overall speed.  I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.    

8. Jets:  Andrew Copp mentioned in an interview last week that he had spent a couple of days with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler working with Adam Oates.  I wonder what this was all about?  I wonder if they are thinking of making hybrid lines that add a solid defensive presence to a weaker offensive combo OR I am I just reading way too much into this?  Copp/Scheifele/Wheeler would be an interesting line and would allow the Jets to spread their forward depth through all four lines.  I still think Andrew Copp is bottom six forward but Scheif and Wheeler could use some help defensively on the left side and they aren’t going to get that from Kyle Connor.  KC can score but this line line doesn’t score enough at even strength to justify them playing together anymore.  Their 5v5 play has been getting woprse and worse every season for the past four years.

9. NHL:  The Buffalo Sabres 2021 first overall pick, Owen Power, has decided to go hold off turning pro and is going back to Michigan for one more season.  Even though the Sabres are a bit of a tire fire I’m still surprised as not too many first overall picks delay turning pro right after being drafted. 

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. IIHF:  I really enjoy ex-Team Canada defenceman (or is it defencewoman) Tessa Bonhomme’s work on TSN’s women’s hockey broadcasts.  I love analysis from someone who has actually been in the trenches and especially someone that’s gone toe to toe for Canada at this level.      

12. Jets:  Another little tidbit about Evgeny Scechnikov, he was originally drafted by Detroit in the first round (19th overall), two picks after Kyle Connor in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

13. NHL:  For those of you that like to partake in a little sports betting, single game wagering in Canada starts on Aug 27. 

14. IIHF:  I was looking for information about Team Canada on the TSN website and I must say I was extremely disappointed with their content or lack of content and especially since they are the official network of the World Women’s Hockey Championship.  Hopefully it will get better as the tournament unfolds.

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers record dropped to 2-1 after stinking the joint out on Saturday afternoon in Toronto.  They were thoroughly outplayed from start to finish and in spite of this they were still in this game with under two minutes to play.  This team is 2-1 and their best football is still ahead of them.  The Blue Bombers kicking game terrifies me.  JUSTIN MEDLOCK …. WHERE ARE YOU?      


In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch


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