Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

IceCaps to the rescue

Might have to keep shipping bodies to injury-stricken Jets

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HOBOKEN, N.J. -- It would seem St. John's IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge might want to stick by the phone.

After all, the Winnipeg Jets crowded infirmary might mean more help is summoned from the team's AHL affiliate on The Rock.

Jets' boss Claude Noel said Friday after an optional skate at the Prudential Center in Newark that D-man Randy Jones -- who blocked a shot with the inside of his right foot in the win over the Islanders -- is iffy for tonight's contest against the New Jersey Devils.

Defenceman Mark Stuart remains day-to-day with an assortment of hurts, but could suit up. Fellow rearguard Ron Hainsey has 'plateaued' in his recovery and has yet to practise with the team while goaltender Chris Mason tweaked his groin the other day and may not be ready until next week, meaning the Jets may be on the blower to get more help ASAP, especially with two games in two days and the IceCaps on a road trip through the American northeast.

The good news? Nobody got nailed by a car exiting the team bus for Friday's practice.

McARDLE WAIVED: The Jets have placed forward Kenndal McArdle on waivers. The former first-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers was on the ice for just four minutes and four seconds in the Islanders game.

The Jets waived McArdle, in part, to give themselves roster flexibility in case they need to call up another defenceman.

SHANNY SPEAKS: The Jets met with NHL discipline boss Brendan Shanahan on Friday and he outlined the reasoning behind some of his decisions so far this season and then fielded questions in a 30-minute session.

"I took a lot of good out of it," said Noel. "We used some of our own game examples which we asked to clarify a little bit (including the hit on Tobias Enstrom by Jack Skille) which he did. I respect the fact that it's a really tough job. It's not black and white. It is grey and it's hard to explain grey. Our players embraced what he was saying to us. There's a real respect factor because he has been a player on the other side of the fence."

QUOTABLE: "Our group is mature enough and responsible enough to realize you're just playing Russian Roulette if you are going to play like that. We would like to win by design, not by accident." -- Noel on what was said in the dressing room after an awful second period in Thursday's win over the Islanders.

DON'T SAY A WORD: Nobody is more aware that Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler have yet to score this season than Jets' management. But Noel & Co. don't want to get up in their faces about it yet, either.

"You're always trying to help players. They are having success. They're defending well. They're not scoring, but sometimes the best thing you can do is not bring it up so that you don't think about it as a player," said Noel. "After awhile you're tired of it and it wears you down. I don't bring it up at all. I think it's a matter of time before it starts to happen. Right now we've got to try to get Blake into more offensive situations. That's something that would help him. And he has to do his part to earn those minutes as well. He's doing OK. With Bryan and Blake those things will turn into positives. Right now they're dependable enough for us and doing their part to help us win games."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 5, 2011 C2

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