Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pre-season wipeout costs fans 4 games

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IT may have been a foregone conclusion, but the NHL has cancelled all pre-season games to the end of September.

That decision kills four exhibition games featuring the Winnipeg Jets:

-- Monday, Sept. 24 -- Jets @ Edmonton

-- Tuesday, Sept. 25 -- Edmonton @ Jets

-- Saturday, Sept. 29 -- Jets @ Boston (Saskatoon)

-- Sunday, Sept. 30 -- Boston @ Jets

Among the other fans sure to be affected are those in the township of Stirling-Rawdon in Ontario, just north of Belleville. It was the winner of the annual Kraft Hockeyville contest and was to host an Oct. 3 game between Toronto and Columbus. The game, which was to be held in Belleville to accommodate more fans, will now be scheduled for next October.

"I've been talking about this for a month. What a kick in the pants it is," Belleville Mayor Rodney Cooney told the Ottawa Ciitzen. "It is pretty bad. You win it and something like this happens.

"But at the end of the day we'll have the game. We'll just have to wait for a year."

JETS GRAB ANOTHER PICK: The Jets have further beefed up their position for the 2013 NHL draft, having gained yet another second-round selection -- a compensatory pick for not being able to sign 2008 Atlanta first-round choice (29th overall) Daultan Leveille.

A centre who played four seasons at Michigan State, Leveille signed an AHL contract in the Montreal organization this week. If an NHL team loses its rights to a first-round draft choice, either because he has not signed or became an unrestricted free agent, they are awarded an extra pick that is the same numerical choice as in the first rounder, but in the second round.

In the Jets' case, because Leveille was picked 29th overall, they'll now have the 29th pick in the second round in 2013.

As of today, that gives the Jets six picks in the draft's first three rounds next June --their own first, their own second, Chicago's second (the Johnny Oduya trade), the compensatory pick in the second, their own third and Chicago's third (Oduya).

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 20, 2012 C4

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