December 5, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
He likes the city, likes his coaches, likes his teammates.
The only thing Al Montoya would probably like more from the Winnipeg Jets going forward is this:
A jump in minutes between the pipes.
The Jets announced Thursday they had re-signed the 28-year-old goaltender -- who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent -- to a new contract with the exact same terms as a year ago: one year at $601,000.
His return immediately fills the No. 2 netminder spot behind Ondrej Pavelec on the Jets' roster.
"I really enjoyed my time last year," said Montoya in a conference call Thursday from Miami, where he is attending his brother's wedding. "This is a good group, a good team. We came so close last year and, for me, I like the coaching staff and I love working with the goalie coach there, Flats (Wade Flaherty). So, it was pretty simple.
"The city is great, my family liked it and I think the team is moving in the right direction."
Montoya, 28, played in just seven games for the Jets last season while twice battling groin injuries. He finished with a 3-1-0 record, a 2.91 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. He also posted the only shutout of the year for the Jets, in a 1-0 victory over Ottawa on Feb. 9th.
A former first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 2004, Montoya has appeared in 63 career games with the Phoenix Coyotes, New York Islanders and Jets for a 24-18-10 career record, 2.77 career goals- against average and 0.906 career save percentage.
Montoya figures to get more playing time this winter, if he is healthy, especially knowing Ondrej Pavelec will likely be part of the Czech team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
"Oh, who knows. I know it's going to be a crazy year," Montoya said when asked how many games he expects to play in 2013-14. "Injuries were a part of (last year) and it was a screwy year with the lockout and having to take care of your own body with no one else really looking after you in the first half of the year. I feel great now and I'm just excited to get back.
"As for the playing part... with the Olympic break coming up I don't expect the pace of this season to be much different from the last."
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Jets fans itching for a hockey fix will be able to see the club's brightest prospects in action from July 15-19 at the team's 2013 development camp at MTS Iceplex. The camp will feature the team's three first-round picks since the NHL's return to Winnipeg: Mark Scheifele (2011), Jacob Trouba (2012) and Josh Morrissey (2013) as well as the rest of the players just selected in last weekend's 2013 NHL Draft.
GOALTENDERS (6) -- Eric Comrie, Connor Hellebuyck, Jason Kasdorf, Charlie Lindgren, Jamie Phillips, Juho Olkinuora
DEFENCE (15) -- Ben Chiarot, Kevin Czuczman, Luke Eibler, Marcus Karlstrom, Brenden Kichton, Jan Kostalek, Zach Loesch, Julian Melchiori, Josh Morrissey, Tucker Poolman, Brennan Serville, Cody Sol, Peter Stoykewych, Jacob Trouba, Michael Young
FORWARDS (22) -- Matt Bailey, Austen Brassard, Mark Cooper, Andrew Copp, Austin Czarnik, David Johnstone, Ronalds Kenins, Scott Kosmachuk, Tanner Lane, J.C. Lipon, Jimmy Lodge, Adam Lowry, Dylan Margonari, Ryan Olsen, Nic Petan, Josh Pitt, Mark Scheifele, Tyler Sikura, Lukas Sutter, Ivan Telegin, Matt White, Michael Zalewski
DATE GROUP A GROUP B LOCATION
Mon., July 15, 2013 2:15pm 1:15pm MTS Iceplex
Tue., July 16, 2013 9:30am 11:00am MTS Iceplex
Wed., July 17, 2013 11:00am 9:30am MTS Iceplex
Thur., July 18, 2013 9:30am 11:00am MTS Iceplex
Fri., July 19, 2013 10:45am 10:45am MTS Iceplex
Players will be divided into two groups.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2013 C4