Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice was a guest on NHL podcast The Rink the other day and during the course of the interview he was asked about whether there is any chance the team would have Bryan Little or Mark Letestu for the play-in series against the Flames.
As you will recall eight months ago on November 5th in Winnipeg, Bryan Little was hit in the side of the head by a puck which perforated his eardrum and left him dealing with vertigo. While Little would eventually skate with the team in a non-contact uniform he was ultimately ruled out with the team deciding to shut him down in mid February for the remainder of the season. He had surgery and it was indicated that Little’s recovery time from his upcoming surgery would be three months. In April the Jets bench boss was asked about Little’s status but didn’t provide much in the way of an update aside from saying “all things are possible” with regards to the potential for Little to be a player if the season resumed.
Mark Letestu was also a player dealing with a serious health issue as it was announced on October 31st that he was suffering from myocarditis. Coach Paul Maurice indicated Letestu would be shut down for six months. On March 3rd it was announced that Letestu had been cleared to return to play but that it was “going to be awhile before he can build back to be a player.” Seven days later the Jets assigned him to their AHL squad the Manitoba Moose on a conditioning assignment.
Here is what Jets head coach Paul Maurice had to say about the two veteran forwards:
“Mark is further along. So Mark got cleared to come back as a player before the pause but he had also spent six months where he was shut down to a very low heart rate, he wasn’t allowed to do any work. There was a long runway but he’s cleared to go and ready to play. Bryan is still going to get some real important kinda tests that’ll happen over the next month and we’ll have a far clearer idea. Is there a chance? Yes. But this one fellas there will be no chances. He’s going to see every doctor he needs to see and if he steps back on the ice for the Jets it will be at 100%. I don’t have a time frame for that one.”
You can listen to the full chat with Jets head coach Paul Maurice here.