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FlightZone: Your Winnipeg Jets Opening-Day Roster

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This is the way the preseason ends. Not with a bang but a Thomas Raffl signing.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies, gentlemen, and any lost Minnesota Wild fans: your 2015-16 Winnipeg Jets opening-day roster.

The Harri Pardy is unfortunately at an end, as Jay Harrison has been reassigned to the Manitoba Moose after clearing waivers. He will be joining JC Lipon, who was reassigned yesterday, and Thomas Raffl. That's right, Thomas Raffl is now officially a member of the Winnipeg Jets organization, signing a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000 (on a side note, thank you Winnipeg Jets for providing contract details upfront and not forcing me to wait five minutes for some hockey personality to tweet it). Despite the one-way nature of the contract, Raffl is not destined to begin the season with the Jets:

And so with that settled, we turn our attention to the victorious. As per The Great Paywall of Winnipeg™ and the Jets official site, the lines are set to look something like this:

Ladd - Little - Wheeler
Perreault - Scheifele - Ehlers 
Burmistrov - Lowry - Stafford 
Petan - Copp - Thorburn 
Enstrom - Myers
Chiarot - Byfuglien 
Stuart - Trouba 
Extras: Postma, Pardy, Peluso, Raffl

Subtract Raffl, add the two goalies and acknowledge Grant Clitsome's hobbled existence, and you've got yourself your 23-man roster to begin the 2015-16 season. A few thoughts, while obviously providing the caveat that line combinations can and will change:

  • Nik Ehlers looks like he'll be given the opportunity to succeed; even limited 2nd line minutes should result in a somewhat fair amount of ice time. I only hope the same will hold true for Petan and Copp.
  • After some talk about overloading the top-four with Enstrom, Myers, Byfuglien and Trouba, more familiar defensive pairings seem to be in order.
  • Stafford's defensive shortcomings will hopefully be mitigated skating beside two-way stalwarts in Burmistrov and Lowry.
  • #FreePostma

And now, before your afternoon news, here is an exciting sight to warm your icy hearts:

Central Division

  • After much hullabaloo over him playing third line centre, Teuvo Teravainen will begin the season beside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. The Chicago Blackhawks head coach is still Joel Quenneville though, so be unsurprised if the line combination blender comes out frequently and without mercy. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • It turns out one goal in five preseason games is a number even Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy can't ignore. I predict the team's solution will be more Semyon Varlamov. (Denver Post)
  • Jack Skille, Brandon Gormley, Borna Rendulic and Mikko Rantanen have all cracked the 2015-16 Avs opening-day roster. Skille is the most 'feel-good' story of the four, having parlayed his PTO into a one-year contract. Curtis Glencross, on the other hand, was not so lucky. (Avalanche.NHL)
  • Mentioning Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn as a Hart Memorial Trophy contender yesterday appears to have jinxed him, as both he and Ales Hemsky are iffy heading into opening night. That didn't stop them from practicing today, because who wants to miss the first game of the season. (NHL)

  • When Stars defenceman Jason Demers tweeted out "#FreeTorres" following Raffi Torres being blindsided by a 41-game suspension, I'm not sure what kind of response he expected. A mixed reception would be one way to put it, though at least folks are embracing the hashtag. (ProHockeyTalk)

  • Get to know the name Tyler Graovac, because it looks like he'll be playing third line minutes for the Minnesota Wild, alongside Thomas Vanek and Charlie Coyle. In other news, Marco Scandella on the bottom pairing is some impressive depth. (StarTribune)
  • Our Minnesota Wild friends review their team's offseason, which was as boring as the hockey they play. I still despise them for drafting Gustav Bouramman in the 7th round. (Hockey Wilderness)
  • The Nashville Predators have unveiled the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend's Winter Park logo, and I think it looks sufficiently folksy...wait a second, is that a 6 string banjo? I see what you did there, Nashville:
  • The St. Louis Blues have elected to keep 22-year-old defencemen Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko to begin the season, rounding out their d-corps. In addition, Robby Fabbri has also made the team out of camp, while PTO invite Scottie Upshall earned himself a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 (two-way giving the team flexibility if Upshall is the casualty of an eventually healthy Patrik Berglund). (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun gives his preview of the Jets. Among many other points, he hopes that Alexander Burmistrov and chosen one Nik Ehlers bring balance to the force offence. His conclusion: "look for them to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history." (Winnipeg Sun)
  • Sean Reynolds of Sportsnet with an opinion seldom heard around these parts: "To lose both Ladd and Byfuglien without compensation would be disastrous for this team. Keep in mind Winnipeg is not exactly a hotbed for free agents, so you can't let so much talent go for nothing." Wait, did I say seldom? I meant at the forefront of our hive mind. (Sportsnet)

And All The Rest

  • Following a car accident which resulted in a broken nose and broken left foot, Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian has been suspended without pay and put in Stage 2 of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program. (Montreal Gazette)

  • After claiming Paul Byron off the waiver wire, the Montreal Canadiens have reassigned Jacob de la Rose to the St. John's IceCaps. Considering Alex Galchenyuk's move to the middle, coupled with the addition of Tomas Fleischmann, it makes more sense to have Byron play limited NHL minutes while de la Rose takes on a prominent role in St. John's:

  • Those pesky New York Islanders have claimed impressively French sounding Jean-François Bérubé, thus preventing him from eventually becoming the next Martin Jones or Jonathan Bernier. It's probably just short-term insurance, no harm no foul, but if I'm an Isles fan it does make me mildly concerned about the state of Jaroslav Halak's health. (Lighthouse Hockey)

  • Andrew MacDonald is not the only high-priced player who won't be suiting up for the Philadelphia Flyers. Vincent Lecavalier, Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn are all three slated to begin the season as healthy scratches, together equaling over $11 million in the press box. At least Paul Postma only costs $887,500. (CSN Philly)
  • The San Jose Sharks have reassigned Nikolai Goldobin, Melker Karlsson and Mirco Mueller to the AHL's San Jose Barracuda. After spending most of 2014-15 with the big club, Mueller's demotion does somewhat surprise me. The good news is, if either Dylan DeMelo or Matt Tennyson stumble, the Swiss defenceman is but a recall away. (San Jose Mercury News)
  • 30-goal scorer Devin Setoguchi will be taking his talents to HC Davos of the NLA. Times like this remind me of how exceptional Joe Thornton truly is. (The Hockey Writers)
  • Your bold prediction of the day: the Toronto Maple Leafs will see improved #fancystats under Mike Babcock. (TSN)
  • In what I imagine is a death knell to Stephane Robidas' NHL career, the Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed RHD Frank Corrado from the Vancouver Canucks. We sometimes criticize GM Chevy for his asset management, but at least he's not Jim Benning. My goodness. (Sportsnet)

Blight On The Land


Thanks for reading!