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Jets training camp report

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-- The Jets obviously have some tough decisions on how to fit the final pieces into the 23-player roster they must submit to the NHL starting today.

Asked for some details Tuesday on how it's going, head coach Claude Noel was at his tap-dancing and grimacing best.

For instance, Portage la Prairie product Troy Bodie, who played 59 NHL games last season with Anaheim and Carolina, was still practising with the team on Tuesday but without a contract.

What was the status of the 26-year-old winger?

"Well, he's with us today, so.... he's with us today," was all Noel could muster on the subject.

Bodie declined to speak to reporters on Tuesday.

Goalie David Aebischer, 33, also practised with the Jets on Tuesday but will be on his way to the AHL's St. John's IceCaps shortly.

He signed an AHL contract on Monday instead of returning to Lugano of the Swiss league for a fourth full-time season.

"He's a good goalie; we've liked him from the start," was Noel's reaction.

The team had 25 players on the ice Tuesday, so one skater present, likely one of the 14 forwards, will not be on the official roster by later today.

The Jets also have four players on their injured list at the moment: forwards Ben Maxwell, Kenndal McArdle, Aaron Gagnon and Eric Fehr.

-- Aebischer, who last played in the NHL in 2007-08 with Phoenix, said he's determined to make it back to the league, even if it means starting in the AHL.

"I've heard some good things about St. John's and I'm going to find out for myself," he said.

He had an out in his Lugano deal to come to North America if he was signed by Monday.

"(Going back) was always an option because if I didn't sign yesterday I would have to go back," he said. "But I'm happy I had a chance to sign here."

-- Today, the Jets will take a day away from the rink for some team-building exercises.

It's an activity Noel's been planning for some time, given the team's nine-day interval between its final pre-season game and Sunday's opener versus Montreal.

"Team-building is something you do to help your team but we've been pretty close since the beginning," Noel said. "They said that before they even got here, that they had a close group."

-- Thursday, Jets players Andrew Ladd, Zach Bogosian, Tanner Glass, Jim Slater, Ron Hainsey and Mark Stuart will be part of the festivities at The Forks, where the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-off begins in the afternoon.

The game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens will be shown on a special big screen and during the second intermission, the Jets players will greet fans and introduce a special game intermission musical set from Bachman and Turner.

The Forks party begins at 3 p.m. The game is a 6 p.m. CT start.

-- Tim Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 5, 2011 C3

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