New Winnipeg NHL roster Has the Talent to Build On: It was a shameful sign of expansion of the jet, Winnipeg, when they merged into the National Hockey League after those glorious days of the World Hockey Association.
Winnipeg hockey fans will not get the crew of world-beaters, when the Atlanta Thrashers shed their old skin for a new name and colors, but they will not be considered torture and humiliation of living with the expansion team. The current group of Thrashers did not rival the Stanley Cup. But there is also little chance of this group is winless in 30 straight, and the Jets were in the 1980-81 season, which is one of the worst in the history of professional sports. They finished with nine wins, 57 losses and 14 ties for 32 points.
There are some things to like about this club and it is reasonable to assume they are on the verge of making the playoffs, especially with the weak Eastern Conference.
Last season saw the Thrashers to finish 12 th in the East with a 34-36-12 mark at 80 points, was 13 years ago from the eighth and final playoff spot.
Whether it’s calling the shots Rick Dudley as general manager or fresh True North Sports and Entertainment rental (True North chairman Mark Chipman was noncommital on Tuesday, other than to say Manitoba Moose general manager Craig Heisinger will play a key role), will focus on reachingplayoffs and be quick about it.
True North did not want to kill the noise associated with the return to the NHL if the team languish in the cellar. They want us to immediately establish yourself as a winning organization, just as they did with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League and the old International Hockey League.
Moose has never won the title, but they are often in the hunt and the playoffs were out every season.
Building blocks for a strong team the NHL has in place.
Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, possibly on the verge of establishing himself as a 60-game horse that the season can be fixed.
Big Buff, as Dustin Byfuglien has come to be known, is a unique talent with a combination of speed, size and skills that can take over games and even a playoff series, like last year, the Vancouver Canucks’s can attest. Byfuglien was a key performer Chicago Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup before heading to Atlanta in salary cap purge.
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Byfuglien’s commitment to fitness has been questioned throughout his career, but if he can make that breakthrough, he can be an elite player.
Veteran Andrew Ladd must re-signed, but he is a great captain and winner of the Stanley Cup with the Hawks.
Defender Tobias Enstrom is an excellent player able to move the puck quickly and with care. Perhaps a small touch, but it is a useful player on any roster of the NHL.
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Young Evander Kane 19 goals as a 19-year-old last season and 14 the season before. He is a great striker with a nose for the net and drive to go to hard places and Winnipeggers will love watching him play.
There are many holes to fill, but with the seventh pick overall in the draft this year, the organization is well positioned to continue specifying the registry.Franchise a little light on the election only five this year, a fall in the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh rounds.
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