Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Miettinen could see action soon

Jets' Finnish winger en route to Winnipeg

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TWO Finnish forwards are scheduled to land in Winnipeg later this week -- one who used to wear a Jets' jersey with style and the other who will soon don one for the first time.

Jets' icon Teemu Selanne and his Anaheim Ducks are here Saturday for what should be a triumphant return to Winnipeg.

And Saturday could very well be the first time Antti Miettinen -- claimed off waivers by the Jets on Tuesday after signing with Tampa Bay on Monday -- suits up for his new club.

"We're working on getting him here right now," said GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on Tuesday. "Since the waiver claim was successful we've had several contacts with him trying to get flights and everything like that.

"He's someone who has played a lot on the power play, he's played penalty kill minutes and he's an experienced NHL player that can come into the lineup and can fit in a lot of different places. He's shown a lot of versatility in his game. He competes hard, and the homework we did on him behind the scenes said he was a real good character person."

The 31-year-old is a veteran of 472 NHL games with the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild and has 89 goals and 212 points, including 16 goals and 35 points with Minny last season.

The Finnish left-winger had played in 20 games with Kazan Ak-Bars in the KHL this fall -- scoring two goals and adding six assists -- before getting out of his contract and signing with the Lightning for two years at $1.5 million per year plus a $500,000 signing bonus and a no-move clause.

But because he started the season in Europe, the Jets were able to put a claim in on him before the 11 a.m. deadline Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, in addition to claiming Miettinen off waivers the Jets activated Ron Hainsey from injured reserve and waived defenceman Arturs Kulda. If Kulda isn't claimed, he'll rejoin the St. John's IceCaps.

Hainsey played in just his sixth game of the season against the Wild Tuesday night. He returned to the lineup in Washington on Nov. 23, but took a shot off the foot that opened up a gash in an awkward spot that prevented the medical staff from stitching it up for quicker healing.

"It was just kind of unlucky," said Hainsey Tuesday. "What can you say, you block a shot and you get cut on the leg? That's the way it goes sometimes."

Just as Hainsey and Eric Fehr return to action the Jets lose another body or two -- Nik Antropov and now Alex Burmistrov, who injured himself at practice this week, were not in the lineup Tuesday against the Wild.

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

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 14, 2011 C2

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