Waldorf of The Muppets is obviously a Winnipeg Jets fan, showing up at their recent home game against the San Jose Sharks. No word on where Statler was, but I assume he was there, likely getting beers for them.
- San Jose Sharks lose in a shootout to Winnipeg Jets (mercurynews.com)
I was watching (as Canadians do) an NHL game from Chicago between the Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets. During the game, something happened that I had never seen before. No, not the hit, or the glass popping out or the beer being thrown at the opposition player. Believe it or not, a fairly inebriated fan reached in and ripped the helmet off Adam Pardy‘s head (I’ve also seen fans grab equipment before) and, this is the crazy part, put the helmet on. As the announcer says, if you’re going to steal something, don’t wear it. A classic NHL moment that will play on sport shows for years.
Need I say or write more?? Great video on YouTube of the 15 minutes prior to the game. I watched the first Winnipeg Jets game in a sports bar in
Montreal where there was a lot of cheering going on, but for the wrong reasons, but the beer was good and we had good seats. The place had a lineup and I spotted a couple of seats and asked the hostess if she could get us there as we were Winnipeggers and just had to see this game. Unfortunately, a 5-1 loss put a small damper on the festivities for me, but the fans there didn’t seem to care very much. How many teams have a full house at the end of a brutal loss giving them a standing ovation. It will get better. For posterity, Nik Antropov’s goal is here as well, it is historic after all.
- Canadiens whip Jets in NHL’s return to Winnipeg (sports.espn.go.com)
- Winnipeg Jets gear up for home opener against Habs (ctv.ca)
Rick Rypien was laid to rest on August 20. The funeral was held at Albert Stella Arena in Blairmore, Alberta. Around 1,000 people attended to pay their respects. I add my respect and offer my condolences to the family. Rick was one heck of a hockey player. The prototype Canadian player, hard nosed with a strong commitment to team and winning. It is a tragedy that he suffered from depression and it finally took him from the world. He will be missed. I was looking forward to seeing him in a Winnipeg Jets uniform.
- Rick Rypiens toughest foe (theglobeandmail.com)
- Friends, family, NHLers pay tribute to Rick Rypien at Blairmore funeral (calgaryherald.com)
- Rypien’s funeral attracts close to 1,000 people (thestar.com)
The Winnipeg Jets re-signed their captain today. Andrew Ladd signed a 5 year, 22 million dollar contract to stay put. Good on Andrew, but a little pricey based on what he has done so far. It could turn out to be a great move though if he continues to develop. The team really needed to sign him on so many levels. One big knock on Winnipeg was that no one wanted to play there, let alone stay. This signing represents that the opposite may in fact be the truth.
My other team made a few moves today as well. The Boston Bruins have had some addition and subtraction happenings over the past few days. Tomas Kaberle has left, signing a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. This was expected and not entirely a bad thing for the team. To partially compensate they have signed Joe Corvo in a trade with Carolina. Michael Ryder has also left, signing a deal with the Dallas Stars.
- Andrew Ladd Signs With Winnipeg Jets, Deal Reportedly For 5 Years, $22 Million (sbnation.com)
- Winnipeg Jets announce five signing (theglobeandmail.com)
The draft is done, the team is named, the uniform and logo are being worked on. I would think that 95% of the world is happy that the Winnipeg Jets is the name chosen. A lot of history in that name and it would have been a shame to name them anything else..
Free Agent season opened on July 1 and the Jets did not exactly make a splash. Having said that, there really wasn’t anything there to make a splash with. Better to save the cash, see what you have in the fall and move towards next year with the youngsters already in the system. The goaltending is in good hands, the young defence is in great shape and signing a big name forward would have been a waste at this point. Lets face it, Brad Richards would have been an interesting pick up, but in reality, he would have added nothing to the team. One other point to make is that Winnipeg will not be playing in the East in 2012-13. The style of play in the West has some subtle differences, so it is a smart play to stay the course and work towards signing Western style players next year.
The 2 signed so far are decent depth players, which we are lacking and in fact, of all the Canucks in the playoffs, Tanner Glass was one of the few who impressed me. Yes, his type of player is common, and yes, he will never be an all-star, but how many Canadian kids with heart do the Jets have at this point. He will do well on the 4th line and was cheap. Derek Meech is a solid AHL defenceman who is reaching the age where he could easily become a solid NHL player. He is also a hometown guy which is always a plus. He will make the team and will be a decent contributor.
Of the guys that are left, Teemu Selane is an obvious choice. A link to the past could be a path to the future. Signing him is pretty much a no-brainer.
Late Breaking, the Jets have just signed defenceman Randy Jones. He last played with Tampa Bay Lightning, but missed the playoffs with an ankle injury. Another solid, but not spectacular signing.
Watching it live, the announcement that Winnipeg’s team will be, once again, the Winnipeg Jets sent chills down my spine. Thanks to YouTube we can watch it over and over. As for the player drafted, Mark Scheifele, he is no Jimmy Mann, the very first Jet draft pick.
- You: NHL Rankings: The 25 Dirtiest Players in NHL History and Their Most Heinous Acts (bleacherreport.com)
- Winnipeg Jets – June 24 – A Very Big Day (joebeans2002.wordpress.com)
- Report: Jets name returning with NHL to Winnipeg (windsorstar.com)
On this day, the Winnipeg Jets franchise have named a coach, Claude Noel, now ex-coach of the ex-Manitoba Moose, picked a name, the Jets of course and participated in their first amateur draft by taking Mark Scheifele with the 7th pick overall. A bit of a surprise here. An improving player, he will work out. GO JETS GO.
- Report: Claude Noel to coach new Winnipeg NHL team (theglobeandmail.com)
The NHL released it’s 2011-12 schedule today and the Jets first game back in the NHL will be at home against the Montreal Canadiens. Other highlights are Phoenix, in Phoenix, on October 15 and a New Years eve game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The big highllight will be the Boston Bruins, in Winnipeg on December 6 and February 17. Maybe my favourite niece Krysta can take me to one of those games???
In other NHL news, Philadelphia Flyers made some blockbuster moves today just prior to the draft. In 3 separate moves, they signed Ilya Bryzgalov, traded Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Voracek, and moved Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings for Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon Blades product, via Brandon Wheat Kings), Wayne Simmonds and a 2nd round draft pick. They gave Matt Clackson and future considerations to the Coyotes for the rights to Bryzgalov. The trades were necessary to clear out cap space to sign the ex-Coyote netminder.
This series of moves completely transforms the Flyers. There also a few goalies that will be on the market as a result of this as well. The Flyers definitely had some inconsistency between the pipes last year.
- Winnipeg Jets – We’re Back (joebeans2002.wordpress.com)
- Report: Claude Noel to coach new Winnipeg NHL team (theglobeandmail.com)
- Winnipeg’s True North expected to buy NHL’s Thrashers (reuters.com)
- NHL Schedule 2011-12 To Be Released Thursday At 2 P.M. (sbnation.com)
An interesting article in the Winnipeg Sun that lists the key players on the team and rates them. There is also a prognosis on the team. They have some decent players coming to town and with some tweaking, could contend pretty quickly for a playoff spot and beyond. As long as they don’t pick up any glorified 3rd liners like Alex Burrows, they will be okay.