Nine days off between the pre-season and the regular season home opener for the Winnipeg Jets. For how busy things have been around the Jets' office and in the rink, those days should fly-by. "Not enough hours in the day," is what most people in the organization would say right now. that isn't quite the case for the players right now.
There are still three days before the much anticipated home opener between the Jets and Canadiens but for the players, it seems to be taking forever for the puck to drop on the 2011-12 season.
"I'm just anxious," said Captain Andrew Ladd
. "It's a long nine days leading up to the season. It feels like you're doing the same things every day and you just want to start playing games and get into it. At the same time we can use it to work on things system-wise and get our pace up too."
"Very excited, we've been waiting for this for awhile," said Mark Stuart
."Just trying to concentrate on the pres-season games and make sure we're working on things but now that the pre-season games are over, it's really concentrating on this first one. We're really excited for it, it's been a long time coming."
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec
can hardly wait to hear the fan support behind him on opening night.
"I'm really excited. It'll be a great game for us and for the fans and it's going to be huge," said Pavelec. "We've been on the ice for three weeks already for a few exhibition games but now it's really going to start. Everybody has been talking about it and we finally get it, it's going to be a really exciting night for us."
As for tonight, Pavelec says he'll be doing his homework from the couch, watch the Montreal Canadiens face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs studying the play of the Habs in preparation for Sunday.
"We're going to play against them in the first game so I want to see them play and how they do, of course I'm going to watch the game."
Injured players Kenndal McArdle
, Eric Fehr
, Ben Maxwell
and Aaron Gagnon
all skated Thursday morning on a separate sheet of ice with an assistant coach. Fehr and Gagnon will most likely start the season on the long term IR list while McArdle and Maxwell are listed as day-to-day.
JETS CLAIM BRETT MACLEAN OFF WAIVERS
The Winnipeg Jets today announced that they have claimed Brett MacLean after the Phoenix
Coyotes placed him on waivers. MacLean, native of London, ON, played the majority of last season with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, where he compiled 50 points (23g, 27a) in 51 games played.
He has played in 13 NHL games with the Coyotes and tallied three points.
During his final year of junior in 2007-08, MacLean led the OHL in goals with 61 for the Oshawa Generals. MacLean finished the year second in the OHL in scoring with 119 points (61g, 58a) in 61 games.
MacLean will arrive in Winnipeg sometime Thursday night to join the team.
"He's had a great junior career, he's a former second round pick and is someone who our scouts have identified as maybe a guy who can break into the National Hockey League," said Cheveldayoff. "He's only played a handful of NHL games but he'll be given an opportunity to show himself in our organization."
Coach Claude Noel admits that he doesn't know too much about Brett, however, a friend of his has been coaching him in San Antonio.
"I know he's a goal-scorer," said Noel. "He's a guy who can finish, he's had that success in the past and that's likely what we hope he can bring here and we'll wait and see but I don't know a whole lot about him."
"He's a right hand shot and a left winger," said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. "He can play both sides but like a goal-scorer, he likes to come off the off-wing so we'll see how that plays out. That's up to the coaching staff to decide and up to the player to ultimately perform."JETS ASSIGN PATRICE CORMIER
The Winnipeg Jets announce today they have assigned forward Patrice Cormier
to their AHL
affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps. Cormier split time between the Atlanta Thrashers and AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves during the 2010-11 season.
Cormier contributed two points (1g, 1a) in 21 games with the Thrashers and played in 11 games with the Wolves, recording five points (2g, 3a).
"One of the things about Patrice is that he hasn't played a lot over the last couple of years through injury and circumstances," said Cheveldayoff. "He's on an entry-level deal and basically what we said as an organization is that he needs to play and if he's going to be the thirteenth guy in the line-up, we need him to play. Our farm team opens up over the weekend in Providence so he'll be there and he'll get a chance to play there this weekend."
Although Cormier had an impressive pre-season stint, Chevy believes that the Moncton, NB native just needs a little bit more playing time before he can make the jump to the next level.
"He's a guy who does need playing time to develop," said Chevy. "I thought that Corm's had a really good training camp and got better as camp went on but again, in our situation here, the opportunity to see what Brett MacLean brings to our organization and if he's a fit it maybe gives us a little more depth to our organization."