Time: 8:00 PM CDT
The Winnipeg Jets are back to playing hockey and we are back to doing game day coverage. Due to someone’s (mine) lack of availability tonight, there may not be a recap tomorrow, but there will be hockey tonight. And the Edmonton Oilers will be without Connor McDavid who is recovering from a knee injury.
The Jets are not playing any of their big names as the game is in Edmonton. We will see Neal Pionk make his Jets debut tonight. David Gustafsson will be making his pre-season debut and will either make the team or play in Sweden. I would argue that no matter how well he performs, the Jets should leave him in Sweden for the year. The quality of hockey is high and he is able to gain more strength. There is no real detriment for the Jets to let him develop at home for another season and play in the Men’s World Under 20 Championships for Sweden at Christmas time.
Outside of a few players making their Jets debuts, don’t assume many of them will be with the big club once the season starts. There is an eight player veteran minimum for the pre-season and the team will follow that the entire time. However, teams should not be deciding who will be on the team based on pre-season. The amount of time that players have can coincide with a hot streak or a team playing mostly AHL players. Teams should know roughly what their lineups will be and use the preseason to gauge where players are at against NHL competition later on.