Jets trim roster to 37

- September 20th, 2013

The axe fell once again on Friday, as the Winnipeg Jets cut 11 players from their training camp roster.

The 10 guys who were sent to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League (Fs Jason Jaffray, JC Lipon, John Albert, Austen Brassard, Blair Riley, Kael Mouillerat, D-men Cody Sol, Brenden Kichton and Will O’Neill and G Jussi Olkinuora) were not a big surprise but the release of D-man Ian White from his pro tryout offer raised a few eyebrows, if only for the timing of the transaction.

White, a 29-year-old from Steinbach, knew what he had signed up for, accepting a PTO with the Jets, a team that was heavy in one-way contracts on D (seven in total), not to mention a surplus of right-handed shots.

Jets head coach Claude Noel explained during his daily press briefing that the move was more about the young Jets D-men performing well than anything White may have been lacking.

The line of thinking makes sense, though I’d personally have liked to see White get at least another game under his belt. After all, he has 503 NHL tilts on his resume and I thought he looked pretty steady in his Jets’ pre-season debut on Tuesday — especially for a guy playing on his off side for the first time since early in his career when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

White told me after Tuesday’s game that he thought he needed to be a bit more aggressive, but in the end, that opportunity to do so never came.

For those up in arms over the move, yes you could make the argument that right now White might be able to give you more than someone like Paul Postma, but the Jets/Thrashers have invested a lot in Postma and after giving him a one-way, two-year deal in the summer as an RFA, the organization needs to see where he fits.

You could make the same argument for Zach Redmond, who is coming back from an injury that nearly claimed his life last February.

Whether he starts the season with the Jets or needs time down on the farm remains a lingering question to be answered during the final four pre-season games.

Rookie Jacob Trouba falls into the same category and I’d expect him to be in the lineup on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild and possibly even Monday against the Edmonton Oilers as he tries to nail down a roster spot.

Yes, Adam Pardy had a rough go in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Wild but he brings a physical element and is likely to play better.

One of the guys to survive the cuts was 2013 fist rounder Josh Morrissey, who has earned praise from Noel and several teammates since appearing in two pre-season games.

Morrissey’s vision, poise, passion and compete have some wondering if he could break camp for the Jets. To that, I say pump the brakes a bit and that’s not a knock on the slick D-man at all.

There’s no doubt he deserves another look (or even two), but let’s not forget Morrissey needs to fill out his frame and would probably be best served playing big minutes with the Prince Albert Raiders and competing for a spot on Canada’s world junior team.

Not much else stood out about Friday’s two separate sessions at MTS Centre.

Jets’ players remain disappointed with the effort put forth on Thursday and they plan to raise the intensity in the rematch with the Wild on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

Noel gave no indication about who he’d be sending to St. Paul, Minn. but G Ondrej Pavelec said he’d be making his second start of the pre-season.

The Wild plan to dress plenty of vets, including Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin and starting goalie Niklas Backstrom.

I’m flying to Minnesota in the morning, so I won’t be at the morning skate at MTS Centre but will check in on Saturday and provide whatever update I can.

Be sure to check out my story on Jets’ hopeful Andrew Gordon, a sidebar with further reaction to the high check on Mark Scheifele and some other injury notes (Eric Tangradi, day-to-day with lower-body issue) and a further look at the moves the Jets made on Friday.

Enjoy your weekend.

Categories: Hockey

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