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Jets agree to terms with 2012 third-round pick Connor Hellebuyck

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Connor Hellebuyck starred in Lowell's rise as a college hockey power over the past two seasons. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

Connor Hellebuyck starred in Lowell’s rise as a college hockey power over the past two seasons. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

By Mike McMahon

The Winnipeg Jets announced today that they have agreed to terms with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck on a three-year, two-way, entry level contract worth $925,000 at the NHL level.

Drafted 130th overall in 5th round of the 2012 NHL entry draft, Hellebuyck, 20, played in 53 games over the last two seasons with UMass-Lowell.

The Commerce, MI native helped lead the River Hawks to their second consecutive Hockey East Tournament Championship with back-to-back shutouts against Notre Dame and New Hampshire, earning back-to-back MVP honors in the league playoffs.

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  • Published On Apr 05, 2014
  • Jets scratch struggling forward Evander Kane before game vs. Maple Leafs

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    Evander Kane has not delivered for the Jets despite signing a big deal before last season. (Russell Lansford/Icon SMI)

    Evander Kane has not delivered for the Jets despite signing a big deal before last season. (Russell Lansford/Icon SMI)

    By Mike McMahon

    Just days after being eliminated from playoff contention, the Winnipeg Jets made a noticeable lineup change leading up to their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with the decision to bench forward Evander Kane.

    The 22-year-old was announced as a healthy scratch after he was not present in the team’s pre-game warmups.

    After taking an extended morning skate, Hockey Night In Canada speculated that the young winger might be a scratch. Jets head coach Paul Maurice did not reveal any lineup changes, but said any decision on Kane would be a “coach’s decision”.

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  • Published On Apr 05, 2014
  • Czechs wise to bench Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec for Olympic opener

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    Ondrej Pavelec

    Ondrej Pavelec took his benching in stride, saying, “Hopefully this works for us and we win.” (MCT/Getty)

    Some of the decisions made by Czech Republic coach Alois Hadamczik heading into the Sochi Olympics had been, well, tough to defend. Taking 42-year-old Petr Nedved over current NHL stars Radim Vrbata or Jiri Hudler, for instance. Or picking his underqualified son-in-law, Michal Barinka.

    Hadamczik’s latest decision is sure to be equally puzzling to some, but this time he’s making the right call.

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  • Published On Feb 11, 2014
  • Are desperate Winnipeg Jets moving Dustin Byfuglien back to forward?

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    Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel and Dustin Byfuglien

    His Jets in a death spiral, coach Claude Noel is trying to get Dustin Byfuglien’s attention. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It’s no secret that the Winnipeg Jets are in a tailspin, playing some of their worst hockey since moving to Manitoba from Atlanta three years ago.

    They’ve lost four straight, prompting talk of blockbuster swaps or the firing of coach Claude Noel as the means of getting the team back on track before it’s too late.

    But with cap issues strangling the trade market and Noel seemingly immune to accountability for the team’s consistent failings, the Jets might be looking in a different direction to change their mojo:

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  • Published On Jan 09, 2014
  • Winnipeg Jets brass puts lid on helmet party planned by team’s fans

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    By John Rolfe

    One of the more amusing ideas for celebrating a spirited player-fan exchange has been nixed in the interests of respect.

    You may recall the incident in the video above, when Winnipeg Jets defenseman Adam Pardy had his lid lifted by an overzealous Blackhawks fan after the glass gave way during a tilt at Chicago’s United Center on November 6. A few days later, Dave Wheeler, the host of a morning radio show on Winnipeg’s 92 CITI FM was moved to call for a “Helmet Pardy” where Jets fans would wear hockey headgear to the team’s rematch with the Blackhawks at MTS Center on Nov. 21.

    Alas, the Jets have announced that no one but players will be allowed into the building unless they are sporting proper headwear. Stetsons, stovepipes, straw hats, fedoras, pork pies, bowler derbies, propeller beanies, turbans, and humble ball caps are all fine — but no helmets. We’ll let Jets Chairman Mark Chipman explain why:

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  • Published On Nov 20, 2013
  • Winnipeg Jets star Toby Enstrom tells Sweden he won’t play in Sochi

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    By Allan Muir

    The NHLPA made it clear during the last collective bargaining talks that its members were dead set on participating in the 2014 Olympics. The chance to wear their country’s colors in Sochi was seen as the opportunity of a lifetime by most players.

    Most . . . but not all.

    Winnipeg Jets All-Star defenseman Toby Enstrom made that distinction clear this week when he informed the Swedish staff that he was not interested in playing for Tre Kroner in Sochi. Olympic coach Per Marts told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper that Enstrom called the other day to break the news.

    “He wanted to put all his time and energy [into the Jets] is how he put it,” Marts said.

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  • Published On Oct 30, 2013
  • Must see video: Little girl loses it when Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec doesn’t play

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    By Allan Muir

    You know how three-year-olds are. Take away their favorite blankie or stuffed animal or NHL goaltender and they completely go to pieces.

    That’s what happened when Winnipeg Jets fan Bianca Simon found out that backup Al Montoya was playing against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night instead of her hero, Ondrej Pavelec. And the rest is soon-to-be viral video history.

    “She just lost it like you wouldn’t believe,” her mother, Marilyn, told Global TV.

    “I want Pav to be in there,” Bianca cried.

    “Montoya is a good Jet too,” her old sister tells her, but Bianca wasn’t buying the lies. Smart kid. Montoya got lit up in a 4-1 loss to the Wild.

    Bianca eventually calms down and asks if they can go to the game and get a hot dog. After this video gets around, it’s a good bet that someone in the Winnipeg organization will see to it that they do.

    But they better be certain that Pavelec is starting that night.


  • Published On Sep 20, 2013
  • Winnipeg Jets get lit up in new contract for Zach Bogosian

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    Zach Bogosian of the Winnipeg Jets

    Zach Bogosian got the big bucks, but must now prove he deserves them. (Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    There was no good reason for Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to hand RFA defenseman Zach Bogosian $36 million over the next seven years.

    Other than he had no choice.

    Bogosian struck it rich today without the benefit of even modest team or personal success to buttress his bargaining position. You’ll hear that sort of thing said about a lot of big money deals, but the Jets are a unique case. Incapable of luring high-end free agents from other teams to sign on for a hitch in Manitoba’s capital, Cheveldayoff has to do whatever it takes — again, whatever it takes – to keep home-grown talent at home.

    And if that means handcuffing himself long-term to a 23-year-old defender with all the promise in the world, but little to show for it, well, so be it.

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  • Published On Jul 29, 2013
  • NHLPA: 14 players line up for the humiliation of salary arbitration

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    Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman Mark Fraser is one of 14 players set for arbitration. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    It takes a lot of guts for a player to ask for salary arbitration. Not everyone is up to the grueling process, during which a player’s value will be compared to that of a flaming pile of dung, a tiny mouse and, in extreme cases, Sean Avery.

    But still, some soldier on. And so the NHLPA has announced hearing dates for 14 players eligible for salary arbitration.

    The PA initially announced 21 players had chosen arbitration last week. Seven, including Winnipeg’s Eric Tangradi in the last hour have avoided the humiliation by coming to terms with their teams on a new deal. Four of the remaining players are members of the Winnipeg Jets.

    That should be a happy room next season.

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  • Published On Jul 16, 2013
  • NHL free agents: Alex Burmistrov leaves Winnipeg Jets for KHL

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    Alex Burmistrov has left the Winnipeg Jets to play in the KHL

    A top 10 draft pick in 2010, Alex Burmistrov had made it known that he was unhappy in Winnipeg. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Just eight Russian prospects were selected at the 2013 NHL Draft. Not because that hockey-mad country has stopped churning out NHL-caliber talent. Because of the Russian Factor.

    And Alex Burmistrov just reminded everyone that it’s a very real thing.

    The disgruntled winger made good on a threat to return to Russia, signing today with Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League. The 21-year-old center was a restricted free agent and perfectly within his rights to head home.

    “Through our conversations and correspondence with Alex and his agent, it became apparent Alex had a desire to continue his development as a young player in the KHL,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement released this morning through the team’s website. “He remains a very talented player within the Jets organization and we will continue to monitor his progress and development going forward.”

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  • Published On Jul 08, 2013


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