Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
I wrote a column suggesting Gary Bettman was not evil incarnate and had actually become a friend to Winnipeg with the move of the Atlanta Thrashers.
Judging from the reaction of some of the readers, you would think I said the devil himself wasn’t all bad.
Many readers indicated they will never forgive Bettman for the fact the Jets left Winnipeg in the first place and pointed out he was only allowing the team to come back because he had no other choice.
That may be so, but it has come to light in the months since that time that Bettman was working with prospective Winnipeg owner Mark Chipman for years, had twice come close to selling him the Phoenix Coyotes, and put him on the fast track to buy the Thrashers when the Coyotes deals didn’t work out.
Chipman himself has said Bettman was the biggest driving force outside of Manitoba in the process of bringing the NHL back to Winnipeg.
NEW YORK (September 22, 2011) – The National Hockey League (NHL) will celebrate the opening of the 2011-12 NHL season and its return to Winnipeg with the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ season-opening hockey and entertainment festival in Winnipeg, October 6. The NHL will transform “The Forks,” Winnipeg’s iconic downtown gathering point, offering fans live musical performances, interactive hockey attractions, a live broadcast of the opening night game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and guest appearances from George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC Television’s flagship late-night program, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, and others. The NHL will announce the exciting line-up of musical performers next week.
from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien displayed a host of symptoms that led a police expert to believe he was high on drugs following his arrest in Minnesota last month.
Documents released Tuesday and obtained by the Free Press provide insight into the circumstances of the high-profile incident that led to a U.S. prosecutor endorsing four criminal charges against Byfuglien.
A police drug-recognition expert was called in to examine Byfuglien, 26, after he was spot-checked during the evening of Aug. 31 while boating on Lake Minnetonka because he didn’t have proper lights on the craft.
“Mr. Byfuglien’s speech was slurred, he was unsteady on his feet, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and he smelled of a consumed alcoholic beverage,” Deputy Ben Bierbaum of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office water patrol division wrote in an arrest report. “Mr. Byfuglien was unable to successfully perform field sobriety tests as requested.”
From the CP via CBC.ca:
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been charged with boating while intoxicated three weeks after his arrest in Minnesota.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s office released the criminal complaint on Tuesday.
Dirk Hoag at Hockey Gear HQ has more:
But you know, there is a winner in all of this…
It’s the guy who won this auction on eBay last week, for an autographed “sketch” trading card from Panini America – it’s a trading card signed by a pro athlete which includes a sketch done in their own hand, a one-of-a-kind treat that gets included in a random pack, and goes to a lucky collector. In this case, Dustin Byfuglien captured what will be the enduring image of his summer:
read on. And here’s the card:
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
It started at 5 a.m., when the first fan showed up to get a good seat.
By 8:45 a.m., you could tell something special was in the air.
The parking lot was full and so were the stands. Fans lined the walkway from dressing room to the ice surface. Some 1,500 people in the building were tingling with anticipation, waiting for their first glimpse.
Shortly after 9 a.m., they erupted, as Nik Antropov stepped out on the ice, leading a column of Winnipeg Jets for the first practice of their first NHL training camp at the MTS IcePlex.
Before it was over they were cheering the drills, giving loud ovations for slick passes, corner-destined shots and nifty dekes and as the players prepared to leave the ice, up went the Go Jets Go chant that so many fans in this city have been dying to utter since the original Jets franchise packed up and moved to Phoenix in 1996.
Read the Winnipeg Free Press story from Tim Campbell and Gary Lawless and/or watch the video.
Zach Bogosian has agreed to terms on a new two-year, $5 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets.
The deal will pay Bogosian $2 million this season and $3 million next year.
Bogosian became a restricted free agent after his three-year $2.625 million entry level deal expired after the end of last season.
The baby Jets were stymied by Oilers ‘tender Tyler Bunz, who turned away the 22 shots Winnipeg could muster up throughout three periods that didn’t bring nearly the same level of excitement as the 4-0 victory over the Sharks rookies/prospects. The Oilers dominated the Jets in most areas of the ice, although some valiant efforts in the dying minutes of the game were shut down singlehandedly by Bunz.
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
The Facebook messages were flying in China when Zach Yuen was drafted last June by the Winnipeg Jets.
The Vancouver born and raised defenceman had obviously distinguished himself as a special hockey player just being drafted 119th overall.
But for anyone of Chinese ethnicity it’s just a little more special.
Yuen, 18, is the first Chinese blueliner to be drafted into the league and, according to the NHL, would, if he gets to the big league, become one of the rare few to make it all the way to the top….
“There really hasn’t been any full Chinese-Canadians playing at such a high level, and I hope I can be a role model and inspire other kids to pursue hockey,” the 5-foot-11, 196-pound Yuen said Tuesday, before his Jets prospects team took on Edmonton.
Yuen sees a day when more players of Chinese descent are playing in the NHL.
From Gary Lawless at the Winnipeg Free Press:
A police report, expected to be released in the next 48 hours will state Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien passed a breathalyzer test administered by Hennepin County Sheriff’s department police officers.
Byfuglien submitted to a breathalyzer test but refused to provide a urine sample when asked, according his lawyer Mitch Robinson.
Byfuglien was arrested on suspicion of boating while impaired and refusing a test.
Despite the clean breathalyzer, charges are still likely to be laid, as per Mike MacIntyre in yesterday’s Winnipeg Free Press.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com