Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Jets strive to stay battle-ready, but it's still a waiting game

  • Print

Jim Slater will tell you he is in arguably the best shape of his life right now. Ditto for Winnipeg Jets teammate Mark Stuart.

But it’s been more than six months since Stuart last played a game in anger in the Jets’ regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Lightning; slightly less for Slater, who played for the United States at the World Hockey Championships in the spring.

And no matter how many cones they zip around on ice or crunches they do off the ice, their bodies are telling them something: it’s time for some real action, some real emotion, a game with something at stake.

But as the NHL lockout drags on, satisfying that physical fix may yet be awhile.

"It’s hard now because all summer you prepare for training camp and getting into the regular season," said Slater after another session with a dozen or so locked-out Jets teammates and local National Hockey Leaguers at MTS Iceplex this week. "It’s up in the air as to when we’ll need to be ready. It’s hard to train… do you do more of a power-phase (workout) or speed phase if you think it’s going to start up soon? You want to peak at the right time. Over the years you come up with a system that best suits your body and you try to stick to that. But now it’s difficult.

"Now you have to be a little more creative in your workouts because this is dragging on and it’s four, four and a half months of working out and we still don’t know when we’re going to be back at it. Honestly, I feel like I’ve gone backwards a little bit. I was really feeling great mid-August, but now I feel like I need to get it back a little bit. It seems like I’ve regressed."

Both Slater and Stuart will admit the off-season often comes at a perfect time. They play the kind of physical, do-anything-to-win brand of hockey that can leave their bodies bruised and battered at the end of a long season. But by the end of the summer they are healed, refreshed and eager to return.

The lockout, of course, means the date of that return is uncertain. So it’s skate, wait, work out and repeat.

"Your body and your mind are telling you that you should be playing right now," Stuart said. "It’s a weird feeling. I mean, you come in here every day and skate and work out, you try to stay in shape but in your head… it’s hard to explain, but it almost feels like you’re not doing much and there’s not much direction. That’s a tough thing.

"It’s more mental right now than physical. My body feels good. Who knows about game shape, but I’ve been skating and keeping my routine. But mentally I keep thinking we should be playing right now."

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Red River ice jam breaks up

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who do you think will win NHL's Calder Trophy for rookie of the year?

View Results

Ads by Google