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Frequent flyer Postma taking special precautions

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Winnipeg Jets defenceman Paul Postma, who practised for the first time with his teammates Wednesday since he was sidelined Oct. 27 with a blood clot in his calf, said he's going to have to take some special precautions once he returns to the lineup, hopefully in about a week.

But it's in the air, not on the ice, that Postma is going to have to be extra careful, the Jets defenceman explained.

Postma said doctors never did definitively determine what caused the clot, but they speculated it might have had something to do with the frequent air travel Postma does as an NHLer -- and all the sitting in cramped spaces that comes with that experience.

And that, Postma said, means he's going to have to fly a little differently and be extra vigilant when he's on a plane from now on.

"When I fly I will have to wear compression stockings on my legs from now on," said Postma. "I can't be seated for more than hour at a time. I have to get up and walk around. Just little stuff like that -- I have to take an aspirin when I fly just to thin my blood a little bit."

Postma said he's still got a couple days left of taking blood thinners and he is probably at least still a week away from actually being game-ready.

-- -- --

Jets head coach Paul Maurice said Wednesday injured Jets forward Evander Kane has a deep cut on his hand that has yet to heal and was definitely not going to be on the team plane that left Wednesday afternoon for Calgary where the Jets play the Flames tonight at 8 o'clock..

"That's a deep cut," said Maurice, "and I want that thing healed before he comes back because we can't afford to deal with it again."

It's believed Kane sustained the cut Jan. 7 during a fight with Tampa Bay's Eric Brewer. Kane has already missed two games with the injury.

Maurice also made it sound unlikely Jets forward Devin Setoguchi, who scored in a 5-1 win over Phoenix on Monday to snap a 19-game goal drought, would be suiting up in Calgary.

Maurice said Setoguchi, who didn't practise Wednesday because he was sick, would not be getting on the flight to Alberta unless he staged a significant recovery.

-- -- --

With Setoguchi not practising, rookie forward Eric O'Dell -- who is suddenly riding a two-game goal-scoring streak -- went in Setoguchi's spot on a line with Olli Jokinen and Dustin Byfuglien.

After going his first six career games in the NHL without a goal, O'Dell has now scored in Winnipeg's last two games and is showing flashes of the form that saw him leading the St. John's IceCaps in scoring when he was called up from the AHL last month.

"It felt good to get a little streak going there and hopefully I can continue to put up some numbers here and just play a good, solid game," said O'Dell, who scored his first career NHL goal last Saturday against Columbus and then added the second of his career Monday against Phoenix.

"I think it's the same for most guys -- just getting that first one, it's the nerves. But once that goes away, you kind of play more confident. And yeah, I was lucky to get that second one," said O'Dell.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 16, 2014 D2

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