Jets lock up Nick Folk’s boot with franchise tag

February 28 2014 02:57PM

The Jets are keeping the man they call “Folk Hero” around for at least one more season. The team applied the franchise tag to kicker Nick Folk on Friday after he hit...

Jets place franchise tag on K Nick Folk

February 28 2014 02:57PM

Nick Folk kicked his way to a big pay raise with the New York Jets.

How Jets should overhaul receiver position

February 28 2014 09:39AM

This is the third in a nine-part series examining the Jets’ needs position by position with free agency starting on March 11. Wide receivers Currently on roster: Santonio Holmes Age: 30 on...

Jets continue hot play under coach Maurice, down Coyotes 3-2 in shootout

February 27 2014 10:15PM

WINNIPEG - Blake Wheeler says his Winnipeg Jets are racing for a Western Conference playoff spot.

Winnipeg got out of the post-Olympic starting blocks quickly with a 3-2 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night as Wheeler score...

Jokinen leads Jets over Coyotes 3-2 in shootout

February 27 2014 09:21PM

Olli Jokinen scored the shootout winner as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night.

Jokinen Leads Jets Over Coyotes 3-2 in Shootout

February 27 2014 09:18PM

Olli Jokinen scored the shootout winner as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night.


Jets continue winning ways under Paul Maurice with 3-2 shootout win over Coyotes

February 27 2014 09:05PM

WINNIPEG - Olli Jokinen scored the shootout winner as the Winnipeg Jets began their post-Olympic playoff push with a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.

Bryan Little, with his 19th goal of the season, and Blake Wheeler, with h...

Russia rattles sabres in Crimea

February 27 2014 08:38PM

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE—In almost countless ways, this storied peninsula that has suddenly recaptured the world’s imagination sticks out like a sore thumb.

And for several nerve-jangling hours Thursday, while the other side of the world was comfortable asleep, it seemed that the amputation of Crimea from Ukraine had begun.

First came the bloodless pre-dawn raid here in the regional capital of Simferopol, as dozens of armed separatists seized the seat of government. By daybreak, the flag of Russia was flying freely for all to see, its Ukrainian counterpart gone.

Then came the spotting of seven Russian armoured personnel carriers, lined end-to-end just outside the city, 90 minutes away from the coastal Black Sea Fleet base they call home.

Then, from Moscow, news that Russian fighter jets had been placed on combat alert with an order of “constant air patrols” along the western borders.

Adding to tension, dozens of armed men in military uniforms reportedly seized an airport in Simferopol early Friday morning.

Witnesses told the Interfax news agency that the 50 or so men were wearing the same gear as the ones who seized the government buildings on Thursday. The report could not be immediately confirmed.

And the last piece — catnip for conspiracy theorists — the sudden re-emergence of deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, now in the bosom of Moscow after six days on the run.

Defiant in exile, Yanukovych issued a statement railing against the “armed insurgency” that had illegally stripped him of power. And, cryptically, some felt, he made specific reference to Crimea, ordering the Ukrainian armed forces he no longer controls to dare not intervene.

The Charge of The Light Brigade, Russian-style, had begun.

And then, no. Not as such. The Russian APCs swiftly retreated. The Russian jets remained in Russian airspace. The gunmen holding the Crimean capital didn’t shoot their way to sovereignty. Instead, they invited lawmakers in to for a chat.

Chaos? For a while. Invasion? Absolutely not.

But on a day that proceeded with an equally frantic flow of events in Kyiv, including the swearing-in of the provisional government to deliver Ukraine to new elections May 25, the flashpoint in Crimea amounted to more than mere sabre-ratting.

Already semi-autonomous — a concession to the fact this is the lone Ukrainian province with an absolute Russian majority — Crimea’s regional parliament made moves to distance itself even further from Kyiv, sacking its prime minister and replacing him with Sergey Aksenov of the Russian Unity party. It also chose the same date of upcoming Ukrainian elections for a referendum on even greater autonomy, including the withholding of tax dollars to Kyiv.

Reaction in Kyiv to the re-emergence of Yanukovych in Russia was broad indifference. His own Party of Regions has disowned him; he is a wanted man after last week’s bloodbath that left nearly 80 unarmed protesters dead. Moreover, the secrets of his klepocratic rule now are spilling out, as investigators pore over a trove of documents Yanukovych tried but failed to destroy in his haste to flee the capital.

He has much to answer for, but with a constellation of other more pressing crises at hand, Ukraine may not get around to asking anytime soon.

“I asked my class a provocative question: ‘How many of you would like to bring back the death penalty for Yanukovych?’ — and only one out of 35 students said yes,” said Mychailo Wynnckyj, associate professor of sociology at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

“That suggests to me that we don’t really care. He’s gone. Good riddance. Yes, there’s an arrest warrant. But we don’t want the discourse in Ukraine to change from building this country to the distraction of, ‘What do we do with this guy?’ Not immediately, at least.”

Yet Crimea — Ukraine’s sore thumb — is a far more urgent matter. It was telling that even before the Ukrainian parliament attended to the essential business of formally launching its new government, interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk opened the proceedings with an appeal to assuage fears in the discordant peninsula, including a few words in Russian.

“I would like to appear to the Crimea that we will provide stability, no one will ever divide Ukraine,” said Yatsenyuk. “Despite the fact that we have linguistic, religious and other differences, we are united and should always be one country.”

But there was little sign Crimea’s Russian majority was the least bit moved. By day’s end, some regional officials were vowing obedience to Yanukovych.

“So what if Yanukovych takes money, every president takes money,” shrugged Alexey Plokhoi, 37, a Crimean Russian, at the baggage claim of Simferopol airport upon arrival from Kyiv.

“This is the way of the world. But we are Russian and Yanukovych is with us. The other side can go to Europe if they want, but they will never take Crimea.”

Many Ukraine experts have noted Russia’s paramount concern is not merely Western encroachment on its regional sphere of influence, but also a “domino-effect” that might see the regime-challenging unrest spill inside its borders.

What flows from that argument is the logic of keeping the dominoes outside, rattling around and complicating Ukraine’s path to success. Which, in turn, explains how very useful Thursday’s here-it-comes panic was to Russia as the hype built the invasion of Crimea that wasn’t.

There is no underestimating Russia’s affection for a regional jewel it held from the 18th century until 1954, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev presented it as a “gift” to Ukraine. At the time the distinction was moot — a symbolic gift, at best, from the Kremlin to the Kremlin because the Kremlin controlled all.

But actual invasion — and the implications inherent in such action, ranging from expensive occupation to a likely armed insurgency rising from Crimea’s ethnic Tatar and Ukrainian minorities — sounds like the last lever Moscow has an interest in pulling, with so many others at its disposal.

Prospect Report - Feb. 26

February 26 2014 03:08PM

Winnipeg Jets Prospect Report

Week of February 3, 2014 - February 9, 2014

John Albert, C – St. John’s IceCaps (AHL)

John Albert was recognized by the AHL for his excellent play over the last seven days earning AHL Player of the Week honou...

Winnipeg Jets hit the classroom Tuesday for Reading Takes Flight

February 24 2014 10:28AM

The Winnipeg Jets, in conjunction with I Love to Read Month, launched Reading Takes Flight, a program to positively encourage children to develop an interest in reading. Jets players will be visiting different schools throughout the city on Tuesda...

Changes loom for Jets

February 19 2014 05:31PM

INDIANAPOLIS — The offseason of optimism gets under way for the Jets this week with the NFL Scouting Combine. The Jets entered this offseason with cap space and draft picks,...

Winnipeg Jets return to ice after Olympic break, two points out of playoff spot

February 19 2014 04:15PM

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets, minus their four Olympians, returned to the ice for their first practice after the Olympic break Wednesday, looking to close the two-point gap between themselves and the final playoff spot in the Western Conference....

Canadians Just Barely Survive A Historic Hockey Scare

February 19 2014 12:40PM

Narrowly, just barely, Team Canada avoided the biggest hockey pratfall in our history today.

No wonder there will be no shortage of people suggesting the Americans will absolutely trample the Canadians when the two countries meet on Friday in the semifinals of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The U.S., you see, have looked like the best team in this year’s Olympic tournament with Maple Leaf winger Phil Kessel leading the way, and they looked just like that again today in a dominant 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic.

Canada? Sidney Crosby and Co. were absolutely life and death to get past the mighty Latvians, and needed a third period power play goal from Shea Weber to produce a slender 2-1 win.

Actually, they needed some good defensive work after that, including a big shot block from Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, to secure the triumph.

It wasn’t like the Latvians played Canada on even terms. They were outshot 57-16 and outplayed in every facet of the game. But 21-year-old Tampa Bay draft pick Kristers Gudlevskis nearly etched his name into hockey history with a spectacular, gutsy goaltending performance.

What Vladimir Dzurilla almost did to Canada in ’76, Gudlevskis almost did today.

By the end, he was exhausted, looking more like a finisher at the Boston Marathon than a goaltender in an Olympic hockey game. Gudlevskis appeared to be suffering from either dehydration or some sort of rubber allergy in the third as the Canadians relentlessly pelted him with shot after shot.

Finally, with just under seven minutes remaining, Weber’s low, 50-foot slapshot eluded the Latvian netminder inside the left post, and Canada had managed to whistle past this particular shinny graveyard. Once again, all the big Canadian scoring guns were silent, including Crosby, who hasn’t scored a goal in Sochi.

Kessel, meanwhile, scored his fifth goal of the Olympics – Canadian forwards have collectively scored six – as the U.S. scored early and built a 5-1 lead against an unpredictable Czech team that would have needed much better goaltending than they received from Winnipeg Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec to have a shot at a victory.

The Americans, of course, lost the gold medal game to Canada at both the 2002 and 2010 Winter Games. But they did beat Canada in the final of the 1996 World Cup, and while that was a long time ago and all the players are retired, there’s a similar feeling in some ways about these Olympics, as though the Amerks just seem to have their act together in a way Canada doesn’t.

But we’ll see. We’re down to four teams – Sweden and Finland will meet in the other semi – after the Russians went down 3-1 in ignominious fashion to the Finns.

Any of the Final Four could win it, including the Finns, who made the gold medal game in Turin eight years ago but lost to their arch-rivals from Sweden. Sweden came into Sochi as the favourite to many, but lost Henrik Sedin before the Olympics and Henrik Zetterberg after the tournament began.

Canada has had an awful time scoring in this tournament, while the Americans seem to have more than enough offensive firepower. On Friday, before what promises to be a massive international TV audience, that equation will have to chance for Canada to have a shot at defending its Olympic hockey title.


Team Canada edges Latvia, sets Olympic hockey semifinal date with U.S

Team Canada’s John Tavares to miss remainder of Olympics with injury

Russia’s early elimination in hockey makes Olympics a failure for hosts: Kelly

Draft expert: Jets could take multiple wideouts

February 18 2014 03:50PM

It’s no secret wide receiver is the No. 1 position of need for the Jets. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock thinks they need so much help at the position that...

Mavis Gallant, legendary short story writer, dies at 91

February 18 2014 08:42AM

Mavis Gallant, the Montreal-born writer who carved out an international reputation as a master short-story author while living in Paris for much of her life, has died at age 91, her publisher says.

The expatriate, bilingual anglophone published more than 100 short stories throughout her lauded career, many of them in the New Yorker magazine and in such collections as The Other Paris, Across the Bridge and In Transit. She also wrote two novels, Green Water, Green Sky and A Fairly Good Time, as well as the play What is to be Done?

Though she lived abroad, Gallant received several high-profile honours in her home country, including a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Governor General’s Literary Award for her collection of stories, Home Truths: Selected Canadian Stories.

“For more than four decades, Mavis Gallant has provided for more than one generation of writers an example of the dedicated writer who has committed her life and her writing to the pursuit of excellence,” said a jury in awarding Gallant the $50,000 Canada Council Molson Prize for the Arts in 1996.

“Without her, Canadians would not have the literary culture they now have. She has done extraordinary service to her country and its culture.”

Born Mavis Leslie Young in 1922, Gallant was an only child in a fractured, English-speaking Protestant family: her father died when she was young and her mother remarried.

Starting from age 4, she attended numerous boarding schools in Canada and the U.S., many of which were French and had no other English-speaking students besides herself.

After graduation, Gallant returned to Montreal and landed an entry-level stint at the National Film Board and then a job as a reporter for the Montreal Standard.

In 1942, Gallant married Winnipeg musician John Gallant, but they divorced five years later.

Though Montreal’s literary scene was thriving around that time —with writers including Gwethalyn Graham, Hugh MacLennan, Irving Layton, Mordecai Richler and Leonard Cohen also making their mark — Gallant left Canada for Europe in 1950. She eventually settled in Paris, where she felt she could live solely as a fiction author as opposed to having to supplement her income elsewhere.

“The attitude to a writer was very important, and the attitude to a writer here is one I haven’t seen elsewhere,” she said in the 2006 Bravo television documentary Paris Stories: The Writing of Mavis Gallant.

“I found for the first time in my life a society where you could say you’re a writer and not be asked for three months’ rent in advance.”

The notoriously private Gallant did visit Canada from time to time, including a 1983-84 return as writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto, where she later received a doctorate of letters.

She also included Canadian characters and settings in some of her stories, which are revered for their wit and their powerful and astute observations of conflicted human relationships.

“You’re always attached to the city you were born in, even if you think you’re not,” Gallant said in a 1965 interview with CBC-TV’s Telescope.

Her writing also earned her the Matt Cohen Prize, the Rea Award for the Short Story, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a PEN/Nabokov Award.

Her other honours include the Prix Athanase-David literary award from the government of Quebec, and a spot as a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Authors who contributed to Gallant’s collections — either through introductions, afterwords or editing — include Richler, Michael Ondaatje, and Russell Banks.

Gallant also wrote, mostly by hand, in personal diaries for more than 50 years.

In a July 2012 interview with The New Yorker, Barclay — who was also a friend of Gallant’s — said she was ill in recent years and was in hospital for nine months in 2011.