Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Miettinen in, Little out at Jets practice
The Winnipeg Jets ever-changing arsenal of personnel may be undergoing another adjustment or two.
The Jets practised Monday morning in advance of Tuesday’s contest at MTS Centre against the New York Islanders without No. 1 centre Bryan Little on the ice, but with new winger Antti Miettinen skating on a line with Tanner Glass and Jim Slater.
Little, who has 11 goals and nine assists this season, was injured in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks when he took a Johnny Oduya shot off his foot and did not return to the game.
"He’s day to day. We’ll see how he’s doing (Tuesday) because he didn’t skate today," said Jets’ head coach Claude Noel. "He’s got a swollen foot and taken a shot and we’ll see how he feels I’m not really sure yet. We got him check out today, but I didn’t see the report."
Alex Burmistrov finished on the Jets’ top line in Little’s place, centering Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler and was again working with them at practice on Monday.
Miettinen, meanwhile, is scheduled to see his first NHL action since last spring with the Minnesota Wild, when he had 16 goals and 19 assists in 73 games. The 31-year-old Finn started the season in the KHL, before deciding to return to the NHL.
"I liked him at practice today. He hasn’t skated too much with us, but he’s a smart player who handles the puck well. I just want to get him in the game and get him into a position where he gets comfortable a bit and get him going. We’ll see how he handles the game, but he’s a good, smart player. We’ll get him killing penalties and see where it goes and if he plays real well we’ll move him into more minutes."
To make room for Miettinen, the Jets assigned Jason Jaffray to the St. John’s IceCaps. Jaffray appeared in 13 games with the Jets after being recalled, recording one assist. In 15 games in St. John’s Jaffray had seven goals and five assists.
Updated on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 3:52 PM CST: Corrects spelling of Antti Miettinen.
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