Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 25

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. 

This week’s Random Thoughts brought to you by the good folks at onlinecasinosnoop.com

1. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets just finished their busiest week of the season playing five games, winning three and losing two.  Their record sits at 4-2-0 for the season.  I think this is an acceptable start to the season and especially with Laine and DeMelo missing a few games. 

2. Jets:  After months of rumours and speculation the Winnipeg Jets have traded sniper, Patrik Laine.  Laine along with Jack Roslovic are on their way to Columbus for center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round draft pick.  The Jets’ quest for a top center is finally over but it cost them one of the NHL’s top snipers.  This is a trade that will probably end up benefitting both teams and all the players involved. 

3. JetsThere were a lot of Jets fans that thought Chevy gave up too much to acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois but 22-year-old, top-six centers are rarely ever available and if they are every NHL team would be in competition for that player.  I can be critical of Kevin Cheveldayoff at times but I must commend him for having the kohones to make a deal like this happen and especially when he knows how unpopular this trade would be with Winnipeg’s fanbase.       

4. Jets:  After checking the stats page I found it hard to believe that Paul Stastny had zero points in his first four games.  I thought he had played quite well but he got off the schneid Saturday night with a goal and 2 assists.  I wonder if Stastny will move to the wing or center the 3rd line after PLD arrives. 

5. Jets:  I am really sad to see Patrik Laine leave and I can’t help but remember how happy I was when the Winnipeg Jets selected him with that second overall pick.  Laine was far from a perfect player but his game was evolving and I just loved watching him rip those lasers past goalies.  I will never forget his 5-goal game in St. Louis and his OT winner at home vs Toronto.  He will be missed.   

Poll Question:  You can select up to three answers.

Now that you have had a couple days to let the "big trade" marinate, what are your thoughts?

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6. Jets:  Now on to Jack Roslovic.  Where do I start?  There is nothing that grinds my gears more than whinny little self-entitled bitches like Jack Roslovic.  I can never blame a player for wanting a larger role on a team and especially IF they deserve it but in Jacko’s case, he deserved sweet “you know what” all.  He was not now or ever a top-six forward on this Winnipeg Jets team.  He did get second unit PP duty and was always the first one elevated in the lineup if there was an injury, so in my opinion, he had NOTHING to bitch about.  Jack Roslovic is a player that rode the coat-tails of Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk in becoming a first-round selection and somehow thought he was entitled.  Sorry Jacko but piss off and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.  Enjoy Columbus and Tort’s doghouse.     

7. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets may have the most underrated stud on their team and the best-kept secret in the NHL.  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers has skill, a good shot, speed to burn, and is one of the best zone-entry players in the league.  He is a line driver and he makes everybody that plays with him better.  That is the true measure of a star player. 

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8. Jets:  It was nice to see Dylan DeMelo playing defence again this weekend.  He was a little rusty but the Jets are a much better team with him in their lineup.   

9. Jets:  It’s cliche time.  I wonder if in hindsight Patrik Laine’s trade request might become a case of be careful what you wish for because it may come true?  The grass isn’t always greener on the other side?  John Tortorella is not the easiest coach to play for.

10. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets received a little bit of criticism for trading up to select Logan Stanley in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and the Jets defenceman finally made his NHL debut this past week in Ottawa.  I wasn’t expecting much but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.  He made a lot of nice simple plays, some very nice stretch passes and seemed to move a lot better than I remember.  I’m not quite sure after a handful of games I’m ready to anoint him as a bonafide starter but he is much closer than I anticipated.  It has been reported he has been working hard on improving all aspects of his game and it looks like his hard work is paying off.  I think all Winnipeg Jets fans would like to see him succeed.  In my opinion, Logan Stanley has worked his way into the Jets top-8-9 on the depth chart and you couldn’t say that last year and that defence corp was much weaker.  Morrissey, DeMelo, Pionk, Forbort, Heinola, Samberg, Beaulieu, Poolman and Stanley are much better than the dog’s breakfast we watched last year.  I forgot to mention Niku.        

What were your thoughts on Logan Stanley's first week in the NHL?

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11. Jets:  Ville Heinola made his 2021 debut last week in Ottawa and for the most part looked smooth as silk.  I have never seen a player his age have so much poise.  He has top-four blueliner written all over him.   

12. NHL:  Key dates. 

  • Feb. 1 – Teams may start requesting players waive their NMC for the expansion draft
  • Feb. 11 – Deadline to sign Group II RFAs (usually December 1)
  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Pet peeve:  Fans that blame Paul Maurice for Jack Roslovic’s holdout and ultimately his trade demand.  I would like to know what Maurice did wrong?  I’m so tired of this narrative that he held Roslovic back.  Jacko thinks he is a top-six forward but not on this Jets team and not on the majority of others in this league.  

14. Jets:  I wonder how long it will take for Patrik Laine to realize how talented his former teammates were?  

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  Would it be a stretch to say that early on, Derek Forbort has been the Winnipeg Jets biggest surprise and probably the Jets most consistent defenceman?  Not bad for a late free-agent signing.   

17. Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added. (as your minimum) I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

  • PP: 18th at 20.00% 
  • PK: 17th at 76.50% 
  • FO: 20th at 48.90% 

18. Jets:  I wonder when we will see Dylan Samberg make his NHL debut?  As of right now, he is on the taxi squad but I wonder if he is destined for the Manitoba Moose?  

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck: 3-1-0 … 2.25 GAA … .920 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit: 1-1-0 … 3.46 GAA … .911 SV%

20. Jets:  For those Winnipeg Jets fans that hate the Patrik Laine trade just pretend that the draft lottery and the last four years were a dream and the Winnipeg Jets actually drew the 3rd ping-pong ball and not the second ping-pong ball.

*

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

[email protected]

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

 

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 18

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:  The Winnipeg Jets are 1-0 after winning their only game this season over Calgary (4-3 in OT) but it sure looked ugly after the first period.  The Jets looked disorganized and awful defensively but they completely turned it around in the second and third period and won it on a terrific goal by Patrik Laine in overtime.  Wheeeeeeew.

2. Jets:  After one game Patrik Laine certainly has Winnipeg Jets’ fans shouting “SIGN HIM NOW”.  Laine’s two-goal and one assist performance was a thing of beauty.

3. JetsWith Tucker Poolman not making the road trip because of Covid protocol and Dylan DeMelo missing because of the birth of his child we should get a look at Logan Stanley, Dylan Samberg or Ville Heinola on this road trip.   

4. Jets:  Based on what we’ve seen here with Nik Ehlers and Tucker Poolman the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL are taking no chances when it comes to their Covid-19 protocols and especially after what happened to the Dallas Stars.

5. Jets:  Elliott Friedman has reported that the Pittsburg Penguins may have interest in disgruntled Jets RFA Jack Roslovic.  It would interesting to see what they would offer?  I’m guessing nothing off their current roster. 

FYI:  Jack Roslovic (RFA) has until Feb. 11 to sign with the Winnipeg Jets or another team, if the Jets trade him, or he becomes ineligible to play this season.   

6. SPHL:  This is pretty good from the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League.  

7. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets play five games this week and six games over the next nine days and although I would like to see them go 6-0, I don’t think that is realistic.  Considering the line-up challenges and the schedule I would be ok with 6-7 points but would be a little disappointed if we didn’t get 7-8 points.  

8. Jets:  For me, the jury is still out on the Tucker Poolman/Josh Morrissey paring.  I thought Poolman really looked over-matched at times BUT I also thought he did some good things.  In fairness, I think we need to see him for at least a 10-game segment before passing judgement.   

9. Jets: I thought Derek Forbort quietly had a nice first game for his new team.  I thought he and Neal Pionk were the Jets’ best pairing.

10. Jets:  Me, last week before the New Jersey Devils claimed Eric Comrie on waivers.

Why didn’t Chevy bring in a veteran goalie on a PTO as insurance for Helle and Brossoit.  The thought of Eric Comrie having to play leaves me sleepless at nights and Mikhail “birdman” Berdin is not quite ready yet.

Asked and answered:

11. Jets:  It is too bad but I think we may have seen the last of Sami Niku. 

12. NHL:  Key dates. 

  • Feb. 1 – Teams may start requesting players waive their NMC for the expansion draft
  • Feb. 11 – Deadline to sign Group II RFAs (usually December 1)
  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Pet peeve:  I don’t care what the NHL rulebook states, I  don’t understand why this is allowed in today’s game?  What is the purpose of having a goal crease?  I like the IIHF rule where if you enter the crease on your own without being pushed in, the referee blows the play dead and moves the faceoff outside the blueline.

      

14. Jets:  After losing Eric Comrie to the New Jersey Devils (waivers) and claiming Anton Fosberg from the waiver wire (Carolina) there is no doubt in my mind the Winnipeg Jets got the best of this exchange.  

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. NHL:  The problem with 3-point games in the NHL is the misinformation that goes along with them.  After the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils split their two games in overtime/shootout both teams’ tv analysts declared their teams both had a successful opening two-game series by taking 3 out of 4 points when they actually took 3 out of 6 points.  

*

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

[email protected]

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

 

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 4

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.

Happy New Year 

1. NHL:  As of today all 31 teams will have officially opened training camp and it looks like there will really be NHL hockey starting on Jan. 13.  There will be no pre-season games and a short season of 56 games with the intent of getting the 2021-22 season back on track in its regular timeline.   

2. NHL:  The NHL and the provinces came to an agreement to let the Canadian-based teams play in their home rinks this season and now that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout has started I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some fans in Canadian rinks before the end of the season.  This hasn’t been discussed, this is just me speculating.

 3. Jets:  The three Winnipeg Jets prospects playing at the U20 WHC have looked pretty good in my opinion.  Ville Heinola is very poised and efficient at this level, and Cole Perfetti looks like he could be a second-line center in a couple of years.  Perfetti looks like he will be a good playmaker with a pass-first mentality.  Henri Nikkanen, the big left-winger has shown off his skating ability.  He was a projected first-rounder but injuries saw his stock plummet all the way down to the fourth round.  The prevailing opinion after the draft was the Winnipeg Jets got away with highway robbery getting him in the fourth round.  Time will tell.

4. Jets:  I think under-sized Ville Heinola has a very good chance to be a regular in the Winnipeg Jets lineup this season.  I love everything about his game but his size concerns me.  I think he needs a partner with some size to compliment his game much like the pairing of Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom.   

5. Jets:  Jack Roslovic has officially asked to be traded.  Roslovic thinks he is a top 6 forward there is nothing wrong with that, as long as he and his agent understand that Chevy won’t trade him unless he gets top 6 value in return and I would be shocked if that happened  

6. Jets:  I don’t why I continually set myself up for disappointment but I get sucked in every single time.  I’m talking about Chevy’s presser last week where he announced he will have a couple of players invited to training camp on PTOs.  I was hoping for a couple of local boys like Travis Hamonic and/or Madison Bowey might be on Chevy’s radar but when the training camp roster came out on Friday there was no such luck.  Two-time Stanley Cup winner Trevor Lewis was the most notable invite but the 33-year-old ex-LA King will be hard-pressed to make this team.   

7. NHL:  The rules for NHL rosters for the 2021 season are the same except for the addition of the taxi squad.  The NHL rosters will stay at a maximum of 23 players with all the normal implications of the salary cap.  One new thing will be each team is to have a taxi squad with a minimum of 4 players and a maximum of 6 players, that must include one goalie.  The taxi squad will be with the NHL team, practice with the NHL, and travel with the NHL team but they are not counted against the roster of the NHL team.

8. NHL:  The Dec. 24 and 27 deadlines for NHL players to opt-out of the upcoming season due to Covid concerns has come and gone with no opt-outs from any of last year’s players.

9. Jets:  For this season the number of games for an Entry Level Contract to be activated is now seven (pro-rated) instead of the usual ten games.  If a player plays in a seventh game his contract officially kicks in.  

Will Cole Perfetti play more than 6 games.

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10. Jets:  Many hockey people thought Jack Roslovic was drafted way too early and that he was not a first-rounder and maybe not even a second-rounder.  In fairness, it is always hard to evaluate the third player on a stacked line.  When Jacko was on the USNDT he was on a line with Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk and they put up monster numbers but he was always considered the third-wheel.  This isn’t the first or the last time this will happen with super-lines.    

11. Jets:  Winnipeg Jets prospect Ville Heinola was named Finland’s “Player of the Game” in their quarter-final win over Sweden.  Heinola even drew comparisons to Jets legend Lars-Erik Sjoberg from Craig Button, which is pretty high praise. 

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Jan. 13 – Season opener
  • Feb. 1 – Teams may start requesting players waive their NMC for the expansion draft
  • Feb. 11 – Deadline to sign Group II RFAs (usually December 1)
  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. NHL:  Put this in the better late than never file but finally, finally, finally the NHL has come to their senses and modified the offside rule.  Rule 83.1 now reads that a player’s skate will no longer have to be in contact with the ice (blue-line) in order to be onside as long as his skate has yet to break the “plane” prior to the puck crossing the leading edge of the blue-line.  He is now deemed to be onside as long as he is straddling the blueline.  This should greatly cut down the amount of offside coaches challenge.

14. Jets:  If Trevor Lewis manages to get a contract with the Jets I hope some of his championship experience and work ethic rubs off on this team.  Most fans don’t realize it but the Winnipeg Jets are one of the younger teams in the NHL.  

15. Pet Peeve:  During the Sweden/Finland quarter-final on Saturday, Swedish forward Elmer Soderblom (6′ 8″) scored a beauty between the legs goal on the powerplay and during the post-game wrap-up one of the TSN analysts (not sure which one) said Soderblom showed nice hands for a big man.  Every time I hear something like this I bristle, big men can’t have soft hands?  Have you ever seen Mario or Buff or Beliveau play hockey?  Size isn’t an indicator of skill or lack of skill.   

16. Jets:  Schedule

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

[email protected]

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

 

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Christmas Edition

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.

                           MERRY CHRISTMAS

1. NHL:  After a bit of posturing and negotiating from both sides the NHL and NHL Players’ Association reached an agreement to play a 56-game regular season starting Jan. 13, 2021, and ending May 8 giving hockey fans an early Christmas present.

2. NHL:  Key points in the NHL’s return to play

  • Formal training camps will begin on Jan. 3.  There will be no preseason games.  The seven teams that did not participate in the 2019-20 Return to Play will be permitted to open their camps as early as Dec. 31.
  • The Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature 16 teams in a best-of-7, four-round format and conclude around mid-July with the plan of returning to a normal hockey calendar for the 2021-22 season (regular season beginning in October).
  • The top four teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs. The first two rounds will be intradivisional, with the first-place team playing the fourth-place team and the second-place team facing the third-place team in the first round. The four teams that advance from the second round to the Semifinal Round will be seeded by their points total in the regular season (No. 1 vs. No. 4; No. 2 vs. No. 3). 

 3. NHL:  Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions the NHL will have new divisions for the upcoming season and the much talked about Canadian Division is now a reality.  I have a feeling some owners and a couple of Canadian sports networks won’t want to go back to the regular divisions.  Travel could be an issue but not a deal-breaker in my opinion but we all know it will never happen.

NOTE:  At this point (Dec.23), none of the provinces have approved play in the Canadian team’s home rinks.

UPDATE: Dec. 24  

UPDATE: Dec.24 

     

4. Jets:  The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get that Kevin Cheveldayoff signed Nathan Beaulieu and Luka Sbisa on the first day of free agency.  If I was going to bring back any defenceman from that train wreck of a blueline from last year it would have been Dmitry Kulikov and I wouldn’t have been in any hurry to do that.  Chevy’s penchant for bargain-basement depth players is getting tiresome.  It wouldn’t bother me as much if these players spent most of their time in the press box BUT Paul Maurice always feels obligated to play these guys ahead of the younger guys.  Chevy’s lustre wore off for me long ago, he is a marginal GM at best and in my opinion, he has overstayed his welcome.    

5. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets are a cap team with one of the worst bluelines in the league, at least on paper. How is this even possible?  This could change if Dylan Samberg and/or Ville Heinola pan out and become top-four defencemen (as rookies) but this is a tremendous leap of faith made by the organisation. 

6. Jets:  I don’t know about you but the Patrik Laine trade rumours are getting a little old.  I know they say where there’s smoke there’s fire but he is still a Winnipeg Jets player last time I checked.  I have never for one moment thought he was going anywhere.  Chevy was probably getting calls on him every day and probably would have traded him if he got an offer he couldn’t refuse. 

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7. NHL:  For this season only the NHL will be allowing advertising on the player’s helmets.  Considering the lack of HRR (hockey-related revenue) floating around, this makes sense to me.    

8. NHL:  I wonder how many NHL players are anti-vaccine because I have no doubt when the time comes that vaccinations will be made mandatory in the league.  NHL players are a microcosm of society and there is always a percentage of people that are anti-something.    

9. Jets:  Every ounce of backbone this Winnipeg Jets team had left when Dustin Byfuglien retired with the exception of Adam Lowry.  I fear for this team in heavy games and there will be lots of those with this new division and the number of back-to-back games versus the same team. 

10. Jets:  I wonder what Patrik Laine’s agent Mike Liut thinks his market value is?  I think his agent is trying to overprice him and I’m not sure he will ever get the big money his agent thinks and especially now with a flat cap for probably 2-3 more seasons.  This is what I think is a fair offer for Laine.  How about an eight-year deal worth $70,000,000 with an AAV of $8,750,000. Two years at 8, two years at 8.5, two years at, 9 and two years at 9.5.  I think this is more than fair. 

11. Jets:  Winnipeg Jets fans will have three prospects to watch at this year’s U20 WHC.  Jets 2020 1st round pick Cole Perfetti (10th overall) will suit it up for Team Canada, and a pair of 2019 draft picks Ville Heinola (20th overall) and Henri Nikkanen (113th overall) should pique our interest for a couple of weeks.  I am especially looking forward to seeing fourth-rounder Henri Nikkanen.  The big left-winger was a projected first-rounder but injuries saw his stock plummet all the way down to the fourth round.  The prevailing opinion after the draft was the Winnipeg Jets got away with highway robbery getting him in the fourth round.  Time will tell.

12. NHL:  Revised dates.

  • Dec. 24 – Deadline for players that weren’t in the bubble (7 teams) to opt-out of the 2021 season
  • Dec. 27 – Deadline for players that played in the re-start (24 teams) to opt-out of the 2021 season
  • Dec. 28 – Waiver period begins
  • Dec. 30 – The 7 teams that didn’t play this summer can open training camp
  • Jan. 3 – Remaining 24 teams open training camp
  • Jan. 13 – Season opener
  • Feb. 1 – Teams may start requesting players waive their NMC for the expansion draft
  • Feb. 11 – Deadline to sign Group II RFAs (usually December 1)
  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

Dec. 24 and 27 are the deadlines for NHL players to opt-out of the season due to Covid concerns …. what happens if a player decides he wants to opt-out on Jan. 3?

 

13. Jets:  With every game being played within the division it is even more important to get off to a good start.  Every game is a 4-pointer AND it is basically like a playoff game every night.  This is going to be an interesting season.

14 Jets:  It has been reported that Henri Nikkanen was clocked skating at 39.31 km/hr.  I’m guessing that is pretty fast. (see #11)

15. Jets:  I really like the hiring of Dave Lowry as an assistant coach.  I always like hiring coaches that have played in the league and especially a player that was a very good defensive forward.  This is exactly what the doctor order for this current crop of Winnipeg Jets forwards who are one of the worst in the entire NHL in my opinion.

16. Jets:  Welcome back Marko Dano.  I’ve always like Dano, he is the type of player that can help you up and down the lineup.  A nice depth piece.

17. WHT:  I would like to wish all of our readers and all Winnipeg Jets hockey fans a safe and Merry Christmas.  Keep the faith, better days are on the horizon.  We now have a couple of approved vaccines (Phizer and Moderna) with a couple more on the way and they are starting to be administered and before you know it our normal way of life will be back.  Please, please stay vigilant and respect the protocols set in place to help flatten the curve and take the strain off of our health care workers.  As much as we love our hockey heroes these tireless workers have been the real heroes during this pandemic.  Even though the end is in sight, we still have several months of hard work to go.  THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU to our healthcare workers for your dedication and hard work.

18. WHT:  I would also like to thank all the people that help to make our lives as normal as possible.  The cashiers at our stores, the delivery drivers, the postal workers, the gas station attendants, the long-distance drivers that keep providing our stores with product etc etc.  THANK-YOU ALL.

Last and certainly not least I would like to thank these people and merchants in MORRIS.  Thank-you to Morris Bigway for picking and delivering our groceries when needed, Valley Pharmacy for dropping off our prescriptions when we couldn’t get there, the Morris Post Office, Integra Tire for picking up and dropping off our car after getting new tires, George’s Burgers for our weekly Fat Boy and poutine or fries, Subway, Tim Horton’s, Co-op Gas Station, and to our neighbours … Randy, Mary-Jane, and Vicky and our other neighbour, Andy.  During this pandemic, these people have been there in one form or another to make our lives better.  THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU.

And finally a huge thanks to our daughters, Maureen and Tara for looking after us when PK (Phyllis Kasprick) broke her ankle, we would have been lost without them … AND THANK-YOU TO PK WHO IS THE BEST. 

     Merry Christmas and GO JETS GO

 

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

[email protected]

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine Edition

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:  There has been an awful lot of conversation about Patrik Laine trade rumours and unfortunately that is probably going to dominate Winnipeg Jets news until he is actually traded or until he signs a long-term contract extension so these random thoughts will be no different. It looks like another two and a half months of speculation and angst in Winnipeg.

2. Jets:  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I believe the team that gets the best player in a trade always wins the trade and in this case, I have no doubt that Laine will be the best player in any deal he is in.    

3. Jets: In my opinion, there is no correlation between the Paul Stastny trade and the Winnipeg Jets trading or not trading Patrik Laine.  The Jets needed a second-line center no matter who is on the right-wing of the second line.  

4. Jets:  I previously mentioned that you probably won’t win a trade involving Laine BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t think you can improve your team.  The Jets could acquire a couple of pieces that improve the team on a short-term and maybe even one or both on a long-term basis, but you won’t be getting a potential generational talent in return. 

5. WJC:  Here is some good news for the holiday season.  The U20 WJC will be held in Edmonton in the “bubble” albeit with no fans so the Christmas tradition continues.

6. Jets:  A lot of the Paul Maurice haters are having a field day with the Patrik Laine rumours placing the blame directly on the coach.  To be honest I don’t have a lot of issues with Maurice’s handling of Laine but I do have an issue with his usage of Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers.  If there is one player that has a reason to bitch about his usage on the Winnipeg Jets it is Ehlers, not Patrik Laine, and sure as shit, not Jack Roslovic. 

7. Jets:  It was a quiet week in Jetsville as far as actual trades or UFA signings.  Jets fans still hoping for an impact UFA signing or trade.

8. NHL:  I posted this last week but I’m leaving it up because I think it is important and needs more discussion.

I’m not a fan of no-trade and no-movement clauses.  Players shouldn’t be able to have it all, big money and term and then piling on with no-movement clauses.  In my opinion, NTCs and NMCs actually create an unfair playing field within the NHL and it hampers the ability for GMs to make trades.  The NHL has enough imbalance with teams in certain states having no taxes and warmer climates.  This makes it tougher on a lot of markets and especially Canadian teams.  I would propose some sort of grandfathering out of NMC and NTCs.  It would be for the good of the game and level the playing field a little bit although I don’t see the NHLPA ever agreeing to that and unfortunately, I don’t see the owners picking that as a hill they want to die on during collective bargaining   If I were an owner in a Canadian market I would be pushing for it.  By the way, when was the last time a Canadian team was in the Stanley Cup Final?  Hmmm. 

9. Jets:  Looking back at the free-agent period as we stand today the Winnipeg Jets have improved their team basically because of the Dylan DeMelo signing and the Paul Stastny trade but the problem is a lot of teams in the Western Conference improved their teams more.  

10. NHL:  It looks like Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley may have inadvertently spilled the beans last week about there being a Canadian Division this coming season. 

When asked about trading defenceman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks, a division rival, Foley explained why he wasn’t concerned.

They’re going to play in the Canadian Division this year.  I don’t think that border’s going to be open before January 1st.  I really don’t.  Cause Canada’s got spikes going on, they’re starting to lock down again.  Winnipeg’s locking down.  Quebec has got spikes going down.  I think they’re going to play in a Canadian division.  I don’t think they’re going to cross the border.”

I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago and it makes total sense because I didn’t think a bubble was feasible until playoff time.

11. Jets:  After a lot of Jack Roslovic trade banter it got quiet awfully fast after Nate Schmidt was traded to Vancouver.  Vancouver getting Schmidt for a third-round pick still irritates the hell out of me and you wonder why I rant about the NTCs.  (see #8)

12. Jets:  Although I do believe there have been talks about a Laine trade, I wouldn’t be surprised if every GM in the NHL has contacted Kevin Chelveldayoff multiple times over the past four years.  I still believe these rumours are agent-driven.  I would like to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth before I get bent out of shape.    

13. Jets:  Some of the Patrik Laine trade rumours that are out there are so laughable I wish these guys coming up with this stuff were in my hockey pools.   

14. Jets:  POLL QUESTION

 

Will Patrik Laine be traded?

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15. Jets:  For the record, I believe Patrik Laine should be on the Winnipeg Jets top line with Mark Scheifele and the other winger should be Nikolaj Ehlers.  Paul Maurice has let Scheif and Blake Wheeler have their way and play together and their preference is to have Kyle Connor as their left-winger.  This is a pure case of letting the inmates run the asylum.  Maurice has been and is criticized for this and it is a legitimate bone of contention with some fans but wouldn’t caving into Laine’s demands be the same thing. 

16. Jets:  I love Patrik Laine and I love it when he scores with that one-timer on the Jets PP but let’s not forget he is not a perfect player and he is still a work in process.  Laine made some good strides this past season and he will only get better and maybe playing him on the second line wasn’t/isn’t the end of the world.  Mark Scheifele and Kyle Conner aren’t exactly defensive juggernauts and that is being extremely kind. 

17. Jets:  Even if Patrik Laine doesn’t his way and has to slum it with Paul Stastny and Nikolaj Ehlers for a year doesn’t he realize that Blake Wheeler won’t be the first-line right-winger forever, hell Mark Scheifele might not even be the first-line center in a couple of years.  Maybe Patrik should stake his claim on the right-wing with Cole Perfetti before Blake Wheeler does.  Of course, I jest but make no bones about it the Jets top line in three seasons will be Ehlers-Perfetti-Laine.  Book it.  

18. Jets:  I remember the days when coaches coached and players shut their mouths and played.  I realize it is a different world now and today’s players need to be coddled a little more but at some point, you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself if it is about you or the team?  If the answer isn’t the team it is time to pack your bags and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.   

19. Jets:  Even though I’ve said you can’t let the inmates run the asylum if it came down to choosing between Paul Maurice and Patrik Laine, I choose Laine.  I pay to watch Patrik Laine play, not to watch Paul Maurice coach.  You can’t lose a potential generational player for a middle-of-the-road coach and this thought goes completely against my grain.

20. Jets:  Patrik Laine will not be traded. Winnipeg is good.    

 

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

[email protected]

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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