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Photo Credit: © Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Random Snapshots: Winnipeg Sports Fans Can’t Have Nice Things

Just some more random things on my mind…

»»» The fate of the entire world depends on a one game playoff played between two hockey teams. Your team is the team that won the Stanley Cup when you were born. The team opposing them is the team that won the Stanley Cup when your… On second thought, nevermind.


»»» I never got the sense that the Jets were ever that interested in buying out Dimtri Kulikov the first time around when the original buyout window was open, so it wasn’t a surprise to see it open again for the Jets yet again not to bother. The reason I think the Jets are keeping him around is two-fold.

One, the savings he would have provided the Jets this season – about $2.9 million – would have extended his presence on the Jets cap for another season where $1.4 million would remain. Sure the $4.3 million hit doesn’t help at all when trying to squeeze everyone in, but the Jets have three big restricted free agents due up next season – Jack Roslovic, Sami Niku and a big one with Josh Morrissey.

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Two, I feel like the Jets are going to go into camp with the idea that unless he really impresses and earns a spot on the team, the club will send him to the AHL and see if another NHL club just won’t take him off their hands outright through waivers. He can spend his time on the Moose and then if there is an issue with injuries, the Jets at least have Kulikov as an in-house option – provided he doesn’t even up hurt himself.

I don’t know if that’s at all what the Jets are going to do, but if I was the General Manager – and we should all be thankful I am not – that’s what my game plan would be.


»»» The Blue Bombers losing to the hapless Toronto Argonauts by blowing a 20-0 lead in the second half of the game Thursday night was so very Blue Bombers of them to do.

Nights like last night are why Winnipeg sports fans are the way they are. We just can’t have nice things and we know it.


»»» On one hand, I openly wonder why the NHL continues to recycle through the same old pile of General Managers and Head Coaches year after year, rarely going outside of the box save for the odd breakthrough with a Kyle Dubas or a John Chayka.

And then I see that the Minnesota Wild have interviewed former Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli or are considering former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall, and I find myself rooting for a division rival to just go ahead and keep on the grand old tradition of bringing in GMs who have failed in other locations.

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Just as long as it doesn’t ever happen in Winnipeg.

** looks at Paul Maurice **

Damnit.


»»» I feel like we – the hockey community in general I mean – haven’t given the Columbus Blue Jackets enough props for going all-in at the trading deadline. Sure, it didn’t work out and lead to a championship run, but it also didn’t spectacularly fail either as we at least got a highly entertaining first round upset out of the whole thing. Yes, Panarin, Bobrovsky and Duchene all left the club this Summer via free agency and even former CBJ team president John Davidson going splits-ville, leaving the Jackets with nothing to show for now outside of the memories of their first ever playoff series win in franchise history.

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The Jackets at best were barely a playoff club that decided to load up. My hope is GMs would see that and instead of having the lasting thought of nothing to show for it being the end result, the main takeaway should really be that loading up like the Jackets did helped them topple a number one seed club in Tampa, so just imagine what a legitimate Cup contender could do by going all-in.


»»» With the trade deadline in baseball come and gone it strikes me funny that Major League Baseball Clubs that you’d consider sellers look to trade players that still have a year or even more left on their current contracts. It’s harder for teams that are buyers – especially those looking just to make a run for a one game wild card playoff – to give up prime prospects for a player who will likely walk away two months later.

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Zack Greinke on the final year of his deal in 2021 would have not netted the same same return for Arizona that it did for them this year with two more years left on his deal. The Astros trade four pretty solid prospects for a single pitcher and while they add what may be the final pitching ace stone to their Infinity Gauntlet, Arizona – who were kind of dead in the water anyway – get to kick start a bit of a rebuild that should see them get three of not all four players in a major league lineup over the next three seasons.

I’ve always wondered why NHL GM’s don’t have that same mentality and more to the point why didn’t Cheveldayoff and the Jets be more forward thinking with Jacob Trouba?

Yes, two seasons ago the Jets were in the middle of a historic 100+ point regular season, fighting for first in the Central and poised to make a deep playoff run so trading a key piece of the defense would have been tough, but it also likely would have gained a better return than what he ended up collecting for the Jets two years later.


»»» Go listen to some Tool today. Drake as well if you must, but just listen to mostly Tool.


  • Rory

    Unfortunately, Kulikov isn’t going anywhere. Maurice seems to love him in a 3rd pair role (mindbogginly over Beaulieu in the playoffs). Assuming Niku plays his desired right side, that leaves only Morrissey and Beaulieu as legit left shots, as well as Kulikov. Unless Stanley or Heinola have a camp for the ages, the Jets lack any other options. I think you’ll see Kulikov reprise his 3rd pair role with Niku or Pionk as a partner. Knowing Maurice’s love of roles, you’ll probably see:

    Beaulieu-Byfuglien
    Morrissey-Pionk/Niku
    Kulikov- Pionk/Niku
    Poolman (scratch)

    I think Morrissey would be a good, safe mentor for Niku if he’s ready (nothing has shown he is yet), or (more likely) Pionk.

  • Poolman should play over Kulikov or the Jets will have very weak 3rd pairing. Iys time to see how the draft and develop playes play in the NHL on a full time bases. No wonder Samberg is staying in college as he knows Maurice won’t give him a fair chance to make the team as he would rather play his old favorites and re-treads the Jets pick up to make him happy.