by Brandt Corbin
Almost day in day out, for the past 2 weeks Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has been making additions and subtractions to his line-up up front. Granted most of the changes have been to the bottom two lines of the team, but it’s almost like the team has a new philosophy. Most of the changes have been adding more size and in most cases adding more grit.
2011 Additions for the Winnipeg Jets
Eric Fehr; the 6’4 210 pounder often does not use his size to his advantage, if he did, Fehr would be a force to be reckon with. In his first full 3 seasons with the Washington Capitals he has scored 12, 21 and 10 goals. He’s also been injury prone, playing a career high 69 goals in 09-10. But Fehr’s slate will be wiped clean, he’ll get top six minutes and will be on the first or second powerplay unit.
Tanner Glass; is your typical fourth line forward. You’re lucky to get 5 or more goals from him, but to his advantage, he can kill penalty effectively.
Rick Rypien; can become another Tie Domi, if he can get his on and off ice issues sorted out. Last year was a complete nightmare for the former Manitoba Moose. For the second time in as many years took a personal leave of absence, before that he tried attacking a fan in Minnesota (in the stands). Domi comparisons are abound mainly because he’s fought giants like Hal Gill, Boris Valabik and Matt Carkner.
Kenndal Mcardle; will be battling Patrice Cormier, Tim Stapleton and Spencer Machacek for the few and final spots up front. Just like many other Florida Panther prospects, Mcardle’s growth has been slowed down, up and down to the AHL and NHL 12 or more times in a year. This could be his last chance to become a NHLer.
No longer associated with the organization
Anthony Stewart; after having a break through season, it was a surprise to the hockey world that the Jets let Stewart go. After not being qualified he signed a two year (one-way) contract with Carolina.
Eric Boulton; the long time Thrasher enforcer has been replaced almost by committee. With Rypien and Glass being added, Boulton became expendable.
Rob Schremp; there are two reasons why the former London Knight became moveable. 1> They did not want qualify him at 825k (one-way), Schremp could be great two games in a row, then go MIA for the next 10. If he wants to get another NHL contract it will be a two way deal. The second reason why he’s not needed, is he’s small and plays a soft game. The opposite of what the Jets are seeking, every player brought in will be miserable to play against.
Radek Dvorak; the european veteran went scoreless in 13 games with the Thrashers last year. The lack of offense, plus the daily debate on whether he’s second or third liner was enough for the team to say no more.
If one is a firm believer in stats, the numbers don’t look as good. The four additions last season scored 13 goals and added 18 assists while playing a combined 145 NHL games. The four removed from the roster played 180 games, scoring 26 times and getting 30 assists.
The equalizer is Fehr, if he can find his stride offensively he could score 26 all by himself. If they would have kept Stewart (14 goals 25 assists in 80 games) they’d have more options up front.
The line-up as we speak