Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
In a deft display of media relations, the Jets had both Byfuglien and Pavelec attempt to diffuse potential time bombs on the same day, and there wasn't a blow-up to be seen.
Byfuglien didn't have to say a word about his off-season conditioning — he looked ready to go, putting a serious crimp in his reputation as the weigh scale's worst enemy.
The Jets were keen to see how Pavelec carried his weight, as well.
And while a few beads of sweat were visible under the brim of his Boston Red Sox cap, the 24-year-old was convincing in his first Winnipeg public appearance since The Crash Heard 'Round the World.
Pavelec sounded genuinely remorseful over his drunk driving conviction in his native Czech Republic last summer.
"It was stupid, that's for sure," were the first words out of his mouth.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
The Winnipeg defenceman is a constant part of these negotiations. He hasn't always had a large public presence, but he's heavily involved.
There are no heroes in the Implosion of 2012, but both sides have made sure that one or two of their opponents are known villains. Even the Mashco-Piro are aware that Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs sent one Governor to the corner and made employees pay a hefty tax bill on their 2011 Stanley Cup rings.
Meanwhile, the Andromeda Galaxy can see how much the league loathes Donald Fehr -- the man "with no skin in the game who is about to ruin the season."
Full disclosure: I don't know Hainsey at all away from the rink, but I've enjoyed my limited dealings with him around practices and games. He's one of those players who likes to know what's going on around the league, so he's insightful to talk to.
But, something has gone very wrong between Hainsey and and the league's negotiating teams. It is believed one of the reasons Mark Chipman was added to the mix -- in addition to his moderate nature -- is that it was hoped the defenceman would be more "in line" with his owner present.
I stress I've never heard it on- or off-the-record from any owner, general manager or negotiator -- but there is a rumbling going around that Hainsey will never again get an NHL contract. (He is an unrestricted free agent next summer.)
You play your game, we can play one too...
from Ryan Rishaug of TSN,
"Just trying to play out the process a little bit in my head of what happened, where we might have gotten off track," said Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey.
Those thoughts led him directly to Wednesday night, when the two sides were deep in the most delicate of negotiations. The NHL laid out its main issues and deal breakers and the NHLPA did the same. But as the players were outlining details of a proposal, Hainsey began to sense frustration from the owners and became concerned that they were having trouble clearly communicating the details of their offer.
"There was clearly a communication issue with what was being transpired across the table," added Hainsey. "They hadn't understood it properly I guess, or it just hadn't been communicated right and there was an issue there and so that was when I thought it was troublesome. We needed to think about getting the lead guys back in there; both sides not just our side because being clear and getting this done we felt was there to do."
Hainsey and the players indicated that the small group dynamic was over, that Don Fehr was coming back in. He says the owners told them that could be a deal breaker. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly clarified the league's position via e-mail to TSN, saying "totally within their rights to do, but response of our owners was "if that's the case, don't expect us to stay involved."
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Winnipeg Jets and the National Hockey League are denying a report out of Boston that suggests Bruins’ owner Jeremy Jacobs reprimanded a Jets’ representative at a recent NHL Board of Governors meeting....
The story said Jacobs ‘answered by reprimanding the Winnipeg representative as one of the "new kids on the block" and informed him that he would know when he was allowed to speak in the NHL board room.’
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, in an e-mail to The Free Press, said the story was a "100% complete and total fabrication."
Chipman issued the following statement Wednesday night:
"I was disappointed to learn today of a report which claimed an exchange took place between an Alternate Governor of the Winnipeg Jets and Jeremy Jacobs of the Boston Bruins at a recent NHL Board of Governors meeting. I was present throughout all BOG proceedings and can categorically state that no such exchange between Mr. Jacobs and either one of our Alternate Governors - Patrick Phillips or Kevin Cheveldayoff - ever took place. Any suggestion otherwise is completely false."
a bit more...
from Ted Wyan of the Winnipeg Sun,
Like we said, maybe it didn’t happen, but the NHL’s urgency to nip it in the bud is certainly curious.
You get the feeling the Jets are having their strings pulled on this one, just as they have been told in not so many words to stay in the background of lockout talks.
Those who follow the situation closely know the NHL governors are ruled by commissioner Gary Bettman and a couple of heavyweights, most notably Jacobs, and they are the ones who are pushing the lockout agenda.
The moderate voices and even the moderately dissenting ones might as well be lepers.
Heaven forbid anyone express a concern that this asinine lockout might be affecting some franchises adversely.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
There was an "old" Michel Therrien sighting after the Canadiens dropped a 4-2 decision to the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
There has been a kinder, gentler Therrien on display this season, but he made it known he wasn't happy with his team's slow start against the Jets. The dressing room was closed for 20 minutes after the game, and while the team described it as a players' meeting, one player said that it followed a tirade from the coach.
"I'm not happy because I didn't see the effort out there tonight," Therrien said. "Someone asked me if there was a positive because we came back from 3-0 to make a game, but we shouldn't have been down 3-0. When they scored their third goal, we only had seven shots and they had 16. There's nothing to be positive about."
from Justin Bourne of The Score,
I recently received a great message from Jason Cotsmire, a Long Island, NY native who now lives in Bangkok, Thailand, about a rather interesting sighting at his local arena these days: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Johnny Oduya.
It turns out that while other NHL players are trying to stay sharp by playing in a variety of European Leagues, Oduya wanted to take a little vacation, but still keep his skills sharp – Thailand was his solution. Here’s how Oduya’s participation there came to pass...
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
Dustin Byfuglien is taking advantage of some extra time in the great outdoors, but the Winnipeg Jets defenceman is relieved that his legal troubles are in the past, is feeling healthy and is eager to get back to work once the NHL labour impasse comes to an end.
“It was more of a pain in the ass than anything,” Byfuglien said of having a trial date set in July after being charged with driving a boat while intoxicated in August of 2011....
While his weight seems to be a frequent topic of conversation, Byfuglien isn’t concerned about the rampant speculation around the Twitter-verse that he’s packed on the pounds.
“I’m right around the same (as last year). Every year it’s always the same stuff and somebody is always going to comment on something,” said Byfuglien, who is listed at 265 pounds on the Jets’ official website. “For me, it’s my weight. I sit and smile at it. It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m able to move and go.”
from The Hockey News,
14 WINNIPEG JETS
Why: The Jets were awful on the road last season so a sudden improvement there would go a long way. Still, what this team has in talent on the blueline, it greatly lacks up front. Blake wheeler and Evander Kane had career years in 2011-12, but will they continue that ascension, stall, or fall back?...
14 COLORADO AVALANCHE
Why: Colorado was a point of contention when THN staffers debated the Western Conference. Some of us liked their collection of youth and presume a step forward - others looked at the goaltending and lack of reliable star power and saw a bottom-feeder. No matter how you view the Avs, a number of things have to click for them to get back into the playoffs….
more on each team….
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has put a six-year contract worth close to $29 million on the table and Kane’s people have had it sitting in a desk drawer for a number of weeks now. They haven’t said no and they haven’t said yes. They haven’t said much at all.
Maybe Kane’s people at Newport Sports are hoping another team will come in with an offer sheet to up the price. Jets fans have expressed apprehension about such an occurrence. They shouldn’t.
First and foremost it likely won’t happen. If Kane was so attractive to other clubs they might be willing to risk what comes along with putting in an offer sheet—it would have happened by now.
Secondly, no manager wants to put in an offer sheet if it is certain to be matched. It only serves to raise the market value of players and the ire of other GMs.
Let’s be perfectly clear right now—any offer sheet signed by Evander Kane will be matched by the Jets.
If Winnipeg didn’t match they might as well “shutter the franchise,” as one agent told me on Tuesday. Once you let one bully take your lunch money, the others begin to circle like buzzards.
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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