Today was the the first day of the on ice portion of training camp and it was reserved for on ice testing. Prior to things getting underway the team announced that Dustin Byfgulien was granted a leave of absence. By way of an update coach Paul Maurice and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff were on TSN 1290 this morning and both said that Byfuglien needed “time” but that he and his family are fine.
Throughout the day we will hear from Jets coach Paul Maurice, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and players.
Coach & GM Audio:
Coach Maurice: Update on Dustin Byfuglien. How does the Byfuglien news impact the Jets D? Is there a reason to be concerned (re:33)? How does he approach this training camp? Direction of the changes of this team. On the Jets defence. Will there be more experimentation on the line and D pairs? On whether Copp and Roslovic will be at centre or wing? Pros/cons of splitting up Scheifele and Wheeler. Would he be opposed to splitting 26/55? On his offseason player tour he did, including his visit to Patrik Laine in Finland. Was role/usage talked about with Laine? How would he categorize the meeting with Laine? What sense does he get as to whether Laine wants to be in Winnipeg? The growth of Laine’s game as part of the conversation. Anything stood out about Laine’s season upon further reflection? Is he in Kevin Cheveldayoff’s office seeking updates on Laine/Connor? Is this training camp going to be unique? Might there be more teaching in this camp? On Blake Wheeler’s interview with Sara Orlesky. On Wheeler’s standard. Having Josh Morrissey locked up for the long-term. Leaning on Morrissey this season. On Nikolaj Ehlers watching his 62 games last season and what that says about him. Adapting team style/system to fit new personnel on the team? How much of his summer was cleaning up the “ruffled feathers” comment? Was there a point in his summer when he said “my job just got tougher” when he saw what happened in the Central?
– Reiterated re Byfuglien saying he is fine but doesn’t have a timeline on return;
– Indicated that Andrew Copp and Jack Roslovic will start training camp on the wing.
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff: On the Byfuglien situation. Did this come as a shock? On a timeline? Is he staying in Winnipeg? His thoughts on camp and the uncertainty without Laine, Connor and now Byfuglien. On the stage of negotiations with Laine/Connor. His thoughts on coach Maurice’s offseason player tour. On the lack of movement with the forward RFAs across the NHL. Does he get the sense that the nature of bridge deals is evolving? On the cap change after Day 1 of the season starting. How disappointed is he that Laine/Connor aren’t signed for day 1 of training camp? On Blake Wheeler’s interview with Sara Orlesky. Where are Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor? How would he describe the state of negotiations? Does he have any injury updates? Depth and Eric Comrie’s two year deal. Is there anything he can take from the Trouba situation (negotiating into the season) into the negotiations with Laine/Connor?
– Met with Byfuglien on Thursday wherein 33 asked for some time.
– Said health wise everything is good with Byfuglien and his family.
– Said Mikhail Berdin is fine.
– Skyler McKenzie had offseason surgery.
Blake Wheeler: His thoughts on heading into training camp without Dustin Byfuglien. Is the turnover the Jets will see at training camp any different/more challenging than what he’s seen previously? On the dynamic now that there are more spots for new players. How surprised is he that Laine and Connor aren’t here? What does it mean to have Josh Morrissey locked up long term? His interview with Sara Orlesky. Did he share the toll last season took with coach Maurice and GM Cheveldayoff? What did he do this summer to reset? Does he keep open lines of communication with Laine/Connor? How much has he learned in his tenure as captain in dealing with people? On the first day of training camp? On the players who can fit with him and Mark Scheifele.
Bryan Little: His thoughts on heading into training camp without Dustin Byfuglien. What is this day of fitness testing like for him? How different does it make this camp without Laine/Connor and the opportunities that presents. On starting camp at centre. How many games would he like to play in pre-season? On the likelihood of him having to get to know two new linemates. On Blake Wheeler’s interview with Sara Orlesky and the personal toll last season took. Has he come to any conclusions as to why the Jets didn’t get any traction last year? On expectations this season. What would he say to Laine/Connor? On Nikolaj Ehlers development. Where does he fit into this lineup? Does he worry about his fit less than he used to?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
I also appear on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show every Saturday on TSN 1290 Winnipeg starting at 9 am.
And I occasionally jump in the play-by-play booth at Bell MTS Place to provide colour analysis during Manitoba Moose games.