Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New D-man Clitsome says we're 'awesome'

  • Print

It can be a lot for a guy to absorb. Dumped from one team -- the NHL's doormats, no less -- and scooped up by another in a playoff race...

Cast adrift by the only organization he has known and thrust into the Winnipeg Jets dressing room days later. New colours, new town, new teammates...

And how have the last few days been for you, Grant Clitsome?

"My immediate reaction was 'awesome,' " Clitsome said Wednesday after his first practice with the Jets. "I'm really happy and excited to be here.

"It's a whole adjustment process. (Head coach) Claude (Noel) just told me to come in, get to know the guys, get comfortable in your surroundings and ease your way in.

"The same group of guys have been together all season and they're doing really well and are in the middle of a playoff push, so I just want to come in and help out if I can.

"I hope I can help with the transition game, move the puck a little bit and be reliable defensively and just try to do my job out there."

Recalled from the AHL last season, Clitsome made an immediate impact with the Columbus Blue Jackets -- four goals and 19 points in 31 games. But in the nightmare that has been Columbus hockey this year, the 26-year-old defenceman struggled to find consistency in his game, especially after Scott Arniel was fired. And when the Jackets traded Jeff Carter to Los Angeles for defenceman Jack Johnson, his future in Columbus was sealed.

"It was a tough season in general for the whole team, and that really affected individual players all round," Clitsome said. "If you look up and down the whole roster in Columbus, guys underachieved. It was a tough, disappointing season.

 

"There's been a lot of changes there, players as well, in the last couple of weeks. Guys have been in and out.

"It gets to a point where you just have to bear down and play your game. You're playing for yourself, you're playing for your teammates, regardless of the standings and the results. You've just got to do your job."

Noel confirmed Wednesday that Zach Bogosian would return to the lineup against the Panthers tonight after a seven-game absence with an upper-body injury. Clitsome's Jets debut is uncertain as Noel tries to manage the arrival of the newcomer with the established players in the dressing room.

"There's things you have to look at when you're inserting a new player, like the loyalty to the players in the room," Noel said. "Those are things you all have to look at. It's not reflective of what I think of him as a player; you just have to do the smart thing for the group right now."

As for Clitsome and his first reaction to Winnipeg?

"It's been awesome," he said. "I opened a Twitter account two days ago, and ever since I got picked up on waivers, it's blown up. I'm not really into it that much, but that's been crazy. And just walking around the hotel and the guys here have been awesome about making me feel part of the team.

"Everybody talks about how awesome the fans are and how hockey-crazy the city is. I was fortunate enough to play in the exhibition game here at the beginning of the season and got to witness it first-hand. I'm excited to see what it's like in the regular season."

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

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2012 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Steve Ashton comments on bid for NDP leadership

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose protects her nest full of eggs Monday on campus at the University of Manitoba- Standup photo- Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Down the Hatch- A pelican swallows a fresh fish that it caught on the Red River near Lockport, Manitoba. Wednesday morning- May 01, 2013   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who would you like to see the Bombers hire as defensive co-ordinator?

View Results

Ads by Google