The phrase “washing dirty laundry with the family” took on its full meaning during the Winnipeg Jets review a few days ago.
Posted at 11:31am
The Jets ended a disappointing season, excluded from the playoffs, having been swept in four games by the Canadiens in the second round the summer before.
They lost in the qualifying round to the Calgary Flames in 2020 and the first round to the Blues in 2019.
However, this team would become a force in the NHL. The Jets had reached the four aces in 2018 with a band of talented players, in the prime and emerging: Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler (the eldest of the group), Kyle Connor, Patrik Laine (replaced by Pierre-Luc Dubois), Nikolaj Ehlers, Josh Morrissey and goalkeeper Connor Hellebuyck, among others.
Veteran Paul Stastny, who clearly inherited his candor from his father Peter, dared to break the abscess on Monday. This dressing room is rotten to the bone.
“We need to be held accountable for our actions and we need to respect each other more. If you don’t have that, if you don’t care about the teammate by your side, and you only care about your little person, it’s going to be on the ice. .”
Stastny didn’t have to name a culprit. He probably identified himself moments later without knowing it.
“I would love to stay in Winnipeg, but first I need to understand where this team is going,” said first team center Mark Scheifele, when asked about his future at the club. I am at the peak of my career. I’m still in top shape and can still improve. Next year I will be even better. I need to know what the changes will be within this team, if there are any. I have to think about my career and what is in my best interest. I’m going to talk to my agent and my family and see what I really want. †
Scheifele, 29, remains a very talented player. Despite a shoulder injury that robbed him of the last nine games of the season, he had 70 points, including 29 goals, in 67 games. He has been producing at a rate of one point or more per game for six years. In addition to his offensive production, we would like more defensive involvement on his part and less selflessness when he doesn’t have the puck.
The fact that he’s keeping his future in Winnipeg vague with a two-year contract left at an annual salary of over 6 million doesn’t help beautify his image.
That same Scheifele had shown no remorse after being banned for four playoff games against the Canadiens last year (serving the fourth at the start of the regular season when the Jets were eliminated three games later) after cunningly punched Jake Evans. He even used the incident to advertise the dangers of distracted driving. Not very respectful of an opponent who suffered a concussion after his bastard blow.
Stastny spoke about the importance of a coach who can put certain players in their place. He praised Darryl Sutter in Calgary, among others. “I don’t know what people are saying about him. He may be rough, but he’s holding the guys accountable. Look at these players in Calgary, they’re playing completely different this year…”
Paul Stastny’s message has been heard. Interim coach Dave Lowry, who will replace Paul Maurice during the winter, has just been fired, as have his assistants.
General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, in office since the team’s arrival in 2011, and on a new three-year deal, will no doubt be looking for an authoritative coach.
Cheveldayoff, whose press conference took place on Monday, the day after the statements of Stastny and especially those of Scheifele. “I will talk to him (with Scheifele) at our end-of-season meetings (Monday after his press conference) and try to get clarification,” he said simply.
The GM admitted he had already spoken with Pierre-Luc Dubois, 60 points, including 28 goals, in 81 games, and was about to become a restricted free agent. Cheveldayoff will ensure that Dubois gets a long-term contract. “Last season was weird for him (with the trade and the pandemic). It was refreshing to hear his take on things after a full year with the organization in a more normal setting. †
There is increasing talk of Pierre-Luc Dubois as the next Jets captain if he signs a long-term contract with the organisation. As for Scheifele, the Winnipeg media is now somewhat sarcastically referring to the “Freedom 55” plan. Needless to say, we are counting down the days until the departure of number 55…
But will Kevin Cheveldayoff get a good price in exchange for a player now described as selfish and lazy in his spare time?
The loss of Danault hurt
The Los Angeles Kings weren’t afraid to invest an additional $500,000 per season to sign Phillip Danault last summer. The emptiness caused by the Quebecer’s departure was cruelly felt in Montreal. In Los Angeles, his contribution is now invaluable.
After a season of 51 points, including 27 goals, Danault played a brilliant playoff opener for the Kings. Playing 8:26 at five-on-five against the lines of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisailt, Edmonton only got one shot in those eight minutes and a pair, and Danault even offered the winning goal by deflecting a puck from defender Sean Durzi with only five minutes to go in third. We have always greatly underestimated the importance of Danault in Montreal…
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