Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“I think you can make forward strides in the Central Division and not know about it,” Maurice said – and on some levels, he was right. For the last handful of years, the Central has served as the National Hockey League’s gold standard. Two years ago, every team accumulated 90 points or more, so for the Jets to make the playoffs then was an extraordinary accomplishment.
This year, they went with a younger team that may get younger still next year and ultimately paid the price, managing just 78 points to finish last in the division.
In the bottom-line world of professional sport, a 21-point slide is unquestionably a setback. But the Jets have never sacrificed development to expediency, or the siren call of trying to fast track a rebuild.
NHL general managers rarely say this when they dissect a lost season, but every draft-and-develop organization that’s doing it right eventually gets to a point where a championship window opens. At that point, you have to amend the slow-but-steady approach and do what you can to give your team a chance to win big.
The Jets are not there yet; and they probably won’t be for a couple of years, either.
Their window will open when goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has established himself as an NHL starter, when Jacob Trouba has evolved into a top-two defenceman and when Mark Scheifele becomes an elite No. 1 centre.
via a release from the Winnipeg Jets,
The Winnipeg Jets announced they have agreed to terms with 2015 first-round pick Kyle Connor on a three-year, two-way NHL Entry-Level Contract beginning in 2016-17 worth an average annual value of $1.775 million.
Connor, 19, just completed his freshman season at the University of Michigan where he amassed an NCAA-leading 71 points (35G, 36A) in 38 games. Connor finished the season on a 27-game point streak leading the Wolverines to a Big Ten Championship. The native of Shelby Township, Mich., earned accolades all season long including being named: Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, All-Big Ten First Team, Big Ten All-Rookie Team and was a finallist for the Hobey Baker Award.
The Jets selected Connor 17th overall at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. after playing for the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms. Connor led the USHL in scoring in 2014-15 and was named the USHL Top Forward and Player of the Year. Internationally, Connor helped Team USA to a gold medal at both the 2013 World Junior A Challenge and at the 2014 IIHF World U18 Championship in Finland.
Connor’s freshman season is statistically one of the best among first-year NCAA players as he equaled the 71 points that Jack Eichel amassed for Boston University in 2014-15. Only Paul Kariya totaled more points as a freshman, scoring 100 points for Maine in 1992-93.
No penalty for Byfuglien on the Stone hit.
NEW YORK (March 6, 2016) – The 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ next season will feature the Winnipeg Jets and the Edmonton Oilers in an outdoor regular-season NHL game at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg on Sunday, Oct. 23.
added 8:01pm, Chicago release is beiow...
The Hockey Central at Noon crew takes a look at some comments the Florida Panthers co-owner had to say about Andrew Ladd.
from Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun,
Getting rid of Ladd now gives the Jets a chance to slide down the standings, which is the polite way of saying they should tank. He's a good player and the team's captain, and saying goodbye to him now will make the Jets worse than they already are and give them a high draft pick.
While some might be hesitant to get rid of the captain and the only player who is scoring goals right now, the bottom line is the Jets aren't going anywhere with him. He's part of the core that came to Winnipeg from Atlanta five years ago and continues to disappoint. Sure, they made a run to the post-season last year, but let's not forget this group still hasn't won a playoff game.
Some of the players in the Thrashers core are solid as individuals, but together they've proven time and time again they can't get the job done. Their goaltending is sub-par, they are giving up way more goals than they're scoring – the signature of all those terrible Thrashers teams – and too many nights they come out with the fury of a tranquilized puppy.
from Gary Lawless of TSN,
The Winnipeg Jets may not be shopping Andrew Ladd but we’re into semantics at this point, as GM Kevin Cheveldayoff continues to get calls on the availability of his captain. Cheveldayoff may not be doing a lot of talking but he is doing a lot of listening.
Eight days before the deadline, it’s believed at least one team has made an offer of a first-round pick plus a prospect and Cheveldayoff has a list of teams calling about the 30-year-old Ladd.
As many as six teams – Anaheim, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Washington – are believed to have interest in him.
“You never know, with the interest this high, you might get more than a pick and a prospect. You might get a player too,” an NHL executive told TSN on Sunday. “The trick now is to not get greedy. If someone offers your price or better, now is the time to take it. The market can work in your favour and get you a high price. But it can also collapse on you.”
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
The game had a little bit of everything. The Jets outshot the Lightning 13-8 in the first period but found themselves down 3-0. They were down 3-1 in the second when Lightning defenceman Anton Stralman hit off-balance centre Bryan Little in the neutral zone, contacting his head and sending him to the dressing room.
No penalty was called on the play, which incensed the Jets and led first to a Maurice bench minor and eventually a game misconduct issued by referee Francois St. Laurent.
Maurice was asked what he thought about a picture circulating of St. Laurent laughing a he threw the Jets coach out of the game.
“I would say that would then have been consistent with their overall demeanor regarding the incident,” Maurice said.
“I was upset because you work with these guys every day and you care about them and their wives and their families. Little is getting neck x-rayed and I seem to be more concerned about the result of that hit than anyone else.”
more on the Jets who lost 6-5 in a shootout to the Lightning.
Watch the hits and a mad Maurice below...
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
It was the kind of telling statement that makes you wonder just how bad things have become for the Winnipeg Jets.
After the Jets lost 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes and generated a measly four shots on goal in each of the first two periods, coach Paul Maurice was prompted to talk about his message to the players after 20 minutes, a message that was clearly not received.
“It didn’t make a difference before the game either,” Maurice said. “It’s the same message.”
It’s a recurring theme of the season. The Jets play well one night, and are lacklustre the next. They talk about needing quick starts and then fail to generate so much as one quality scoring chance through two periods. They turn it on a bit in the third and get a goal – this time from Blake Wheeler – but fall short in a classic case of too little, too late.
They struggle on special teams and allow that to be a major difference in the hockey game.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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