Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Antropov could play in opener

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AFTER three days out of commission and skating on his own, Jets forward Nik Antropov was back in regular colours and on the ice with his teammates Wednesday.

The 32-year-old veteran reported to training camp on the weekend with an upper-body injury sustained while playing in the KHL during the lockout.

He did not pass his medical exam last weekend.

"I knew before I came here I wasn't ready," Antropov told reporters after the team's up-tempo 80-minute session at the MTS Iceplex on Wednesday. "I told them, there was nothing to hide."

Antropov had skated last Saturday with some teammates in an informal workout at the MTS Centre.

Since the lockout officially ended later Saturday, however, he's been relegated to on-ice sessions with one of the Jets' conditioning staff and defenceman Zach Bogosian, who's recovering from wrist surgery.

"We'll see how it responds," Antropov said Wednesday. "Today it felt good. I'm optimistic for the weekend."

LADD ABSENT: Antropov was back in but a new absence saw captain Andrew Ladd missing on Wednesday. The team said he was excused due to personal matters.

The only comment Jets coach Claude Noel would make on Ladd's situation was that he'd be talking to his captain later in the day.

Along with Ladd and Bogosian, right-winger Antti Miettinen was missing again from practice, having suffered an injury on Monday. He's out indefinitely.

JETS RE-SIGN JAFFS: The Jets signed a familiar face on Wednesday to a two-way NHL contract.

Left-winger Jason Jaffray, who played 13 games for them last season, got the contract. He was put on waivers the same day for the purpose of keeping him with the AHL's St. John's IceCaps.

Jaffray had begun the season with the IceCaps on an AHL deal.

The 31-year-old former Manitoba Moose star has six goals and 20 points in 27 AHL games so far this season. His signing gives the Jets further forward depth and the option to recall him anytime.

NICKNAME-MANIA: Centre Jim Slater laughed Wednesday when it was suggested he and linemate Chris Thorburn might want veto power over any future line nicknames.

They combined last season with departed Tanner Glass for the GST Line, which was very popular with fans.

"I've heard some things out there that could be used but we're not focused on it," Slater said. "It was great while it lasted last year. Awesome. I've never had that before.

"We had the Greek God Line in Atlanta (himself, Thorburn, Eric Boulton), but here they took it to a whole other level. They had T-shirts, chants in the crowd. It was cool being a part of that. If it happens this year, it would be great. That was fun while it lasted."

-- Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2013 D3

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