Rock population on rise
THE Jets assigned five players to the St. John's IceCaps on Monday, as they work to pare the training-camp roster down to a single group. There were no surprises among the latest round of names: headed to Newfoundland are defencemen Ben Chiarot and Julian Melchiori, forwards Carl Klingberg and Jerome Samson and netminder Michael Hutchinson. Of the five, Samson is the only one who must clear waivers to be assigned to the AHL squad.
Noel tsk-tsks brawl
JETS head coach Claude Noel kept his lips mostly zipped when asked about the dust-up between the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night, the one that saw big bruiser John Scott go after Phil Kessel, who slashed back at Scott, who got hauled down by a pile of guys until David Clarkson left the bench and... oh, you get the picture. Anyway, what did the Jets coach think of that mess?
"I saw bits and pieces of it, I didn't really assess it," Noel said. "It's an unfortunate incident. I don't think anybody really enjoyed that."
FOR the first time since the Jets landed in Winnipeg, there are some actual battles in training camp, as some of the young players push for ice time. Coaches, for their part, are happy to have to debate.
"We've seen a lot of good things," Noel said. "Some players have stepped up their play -- that's made some real question-mark decisions for us. Some young players have done well in some areas where maybe we hadn't anticipated that."
Still, Noel said, the mantra goes that training camp is the toughest time to make a team -- mainly, everyone's optimistic and the vets are healthy -- but the performances by guys such as Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba, Eric O'Dell and Patrice Cormier have complicated those decisions.
"They've left an impression, and that's been good... good for us, and good for them."
What new nets?
SPEAKING of Eric O'Dell, like many skaters he says he's barely noticed the new, shallower NHL nets, which give an extra four inches back to Gretzky's office. Theoretically, it should make it a little more fun to go for the wrap-around, but so far it hasn't made a big splash.
"In practice, when you have a lot of time, you kind of notice it," O'Dell said. "But in the game it's so quick, that you can't notice it too much."
-- Melissa Martin