WINNIPEG - It turned out to be a busy week for the Winnipeg Jets last week. Here are a few thoughts on the news surrounding the big club and the AHL's Manitoba Moose.
1. Connor Hellebuyck signing his six-year, $37 million contract extension was an exciting moment for Jets fans and the organization on Thursday. Here are two quotes that stood out from the goaltender and General Manager, Kevin Cheveldayoff.
Hellebuyck on why he decided to sign long term
"I think the tools are in place in this locker room to be a championship team and that's fun. It's fun to play and thats the reason we grew up playing is to have this kind of chance and go after our dream."
Cheveldayoff on Hellebuyck building on a breakout season in 2017-18
"Obviously, with the training and the maturity that was in his game from the years prior to now is about becoming a pro. Helly has always been projected in our mind as a number one goaltender and the goaltender of the future for us. We're very excited we were able to come to a long term agreement for now and the future."
2. Jack Roslovic will wear a different number in 2018-19 as he changes from number 52 to number 28. Roslovic told winnipegjets.com that he wore 28 when he was part of the USA Hockey National Team Development program. A popular opinion for the upcoming season has Roslovic in the middle of Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine which sets up the 27-28-29 line. Roslovic isn't the first player to wear number 28 for the Jets since their return to Winnipeg. Former Moose captain Patrice Cormier - who recently signed in the KHL - also dawned the digits.
3. The American Hockey League released their full schedule last week. The Manitoba Moose announced Tuesday they will open their season on the road against the Iowa Wild on October 5th and their home opener will go a week later at Bell MTS Place against the Belleville Senators. Also, Moose play-by-play voice, Mitch Peacock, pointed out there are 27 Friday, Saturday or Sunday home games, which is up from last year. The team also has 13 family friendly matinee home games with a 2 P.M. puck drop.
4. This has been out there for a while, but thought it was note-worthy. Around a week and a half ago, former Jets centre, Paul Stastny, was on Sirius Satellite NHL Network Radio with Steve Kouleas and Nick Alberga to discuss his signing with the Vegas Golden Knights for three years and $6.5 million AAV and his time in Winnipeg. Here are parts of the interview that stood out from a Jets perspective.
On the difference between free agency for him this time and 2014.
"This time around going to Winnipeg and then going there for a playoff run I didn't know how anything would happen. I knew whatever happened I knew it would be kind of hard (to re-sign) in Winnipeg because there were so many good players coming up on contracts, the RFA's. Next year Patty's (Laine) up and then Wheels (Blake Wheeler) is up. I knew that would have been tough."
On his time in Winnipeg and if he thought it was going to be a short stay and did he ever think there was a chance he could re-sign.
"Honestly, when I was traded there I thought it was for a short time. (I was) kind of a rental player because I knew their situation where they were they got all those young guys and they are all coming into their own now. Off the bat I was like just go out there and enjoy it, you never know what happens. Back to Winnipeg, I will say it was unbelievable. From the guys to ownership to management, I think everything was first class. And that's why always in the back of my head I was like maybe there is a chance I go back. I knew it'd be tough but it was always there. I think we tried doing everything we could to make it work but it wasn't about what we both wanted but what could be done on the business side of things. That's where it got kind of tricky."