Kukla's Korner Hockey
With the regular season home opener a month away, the Winnipeg Jets continue to tweak their roster, albeit with modest changes. Yesterday the club announced they’ve signed former Leafs/Canucks/Sharks (and Blues, although he never played a game for them) centre Kyle Wellwood to a one-year, $700,000 contract. Seems like a relatively safe pick-up for the Jets – Wellwood can surprise with bursts of speed and some pretty slick stickwork.
via the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Winnipeg Jets have dipped into the remaining pool of NHL free agents to grab veteran centre Kyle Wellwood, signing him to a one-year $700,000 contract.
A 28-year-old former draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs (134th overall in 2001), Wellwood has appeared in 373 NHL games with the Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks. He split last season between the KHL and the Sharks, heading over to Russia after failing to land a roster spot in a tryout with the Phoenix Coyotes. He appeared in 35 games for the Sharks last year, scoring five goals and adding eight assists.
The Jets have not confirmed the signing, but his name did appear on the team’s roster on its website Thursday before being removed.
Military personnel, multiple Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft in the background, security checkpoints out the wazoo and members of the federal government on hand in the crowd – it had all the makings of an election campaign appearance or an announcement of new fighter jets for the military.
Instead, we got our hockey team’s jerseys. From the back of that massive Hercules strolled Nik Antropov, Andrew Ladd, Mark Stuart and Eric Fehr, looking like an awkward boy band as they emerged through the smoke and blue light to some heavy guitar riffage.
The jerseys consist largely of two shades of blue. The primary navy blue base of the home dark jerseys is referred to as “Polar Night Blue” which is found on many of today’s Royal Canadian Air Force planes, including the Dash 8. The lighter, secondary blue is called “Aviator Blue” which is similar to the historical colours by used the RCAF, including traditional RCAF flags and the jerseys of the 1948 RCAF Flyers. The jersey also features the previously unveiled primary logo on the front, with the secondary logo placed on the shoulders of each jersey.
“We wanted to create a look that worked well with Reebok’s modern and innovative “Edge System” uniforms,” said Kevin Cheveldayoff, Executive Vice-President & General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets. “However, it was also vitally important to us to honour the rich history of hockey in our city, and fit the era of the Royal Canadian Air Force which inspired the primary crest design. The result is clean, simple and traditional.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
An NHL general manager once said of Dustin Byfuglien: “I don’t want a player with bigger (breasts) than my wife.”
read onMornlin if you want Simmon’s opinion on NHL fighting and the recent deaths…
from Mike McIntyre and Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Byfuglien, who lives in Minnesota and is an American citizen, is not currently under any type of bail restriction. But his ability to cross the border and move about Winnipeg could be severely impacted in the future.
Lucy Perillo, who operates Canada Border Crossing Services in Winnipeg—a company that works with offenders on both sides of the border to assist in travel—said it’s possible Byfuglien could be refused entry into Canada based simply on pending criminal charges such as third-degree boating while intoxicated and the refusal of a blood or urine test. He would also be obligated to disclose the fact he’d been arrested and fingerprinted.
“He’s technically not inadmissible into Canada, because he hasn’t been found guilty of anything. But they do have the right to refuse. Typically, though, Canadian officials at the Emerson border are very fair, as are those at the Winnipeg airport,” Perillo told the Free Press.
Perillo said Byfuglien’s life would become much more complicated if he was ultimately convicted.
After yesterday’s big news about the TV/radio deal struck by True North Sports & Entertainment and Bell Media, there was definitely a buzz about this coming season - especially among those of us unable to score season tickets. Today comes the hangover - figuratively for fans and, it would seem, literally for Jets d-man Dustin Byfuglien.
via Darren Wolfson tweets,
Got a tip that Dustin Byfuglien was at the Hennepin County Jail last night.
BWI test refusal. Here it is.
Re: Byfuglien - told now refusal of BWI (boating) test. Also told he weighed in at 286 lbs. Holy crap! He played at about 245 lbs last year.
As summer draws to a close, Winnipeggers are hungrier than ever for hockey. The chance to host the best in the game has Jets fans salivating – especially those lucky enough to get season tickets.
To: Whom it may concern at the National Hockey League
From: Rob Williams, Winnipeg Free Press music critic, and Bartley Kives, reporter and former music critic
Re: The possibility of Nickelback performing at NHL FaceOff
Dear Gary Bettman et al.,
According to our intrepid sports reporters Gary Lawless and Ed Tait, the 2011-12 NHL season is going to kick off in Winnipeg with a big show at The Forks, dubbed NHL FaceOff, on Oct. 6. This will be the first of four days of festivities leading up to the Winnipeg Jets’ home opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 9.
That is a fantastic idea, and both of us are thrilled to have the Jets back. We are ready for a party to launch the season. We both are part of groups who purchased season tickets so quickly back in June that Winnipeg may never reclaim its reputation for being cheap and miserly.
Anyway, the word in last Sunday’s paper was there’s talk of having a “major Canadian concert act” perform at the FaceOff event, with the possibility Nickelback is in the running to perform.
As people who love music and love Winnipeg even more, we have a request: Please ensure this does not happen.
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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