WITH four exhibition games still to play, the Winnipeg Jets sharply whittled their list of roster candidates on Friday.
The team dropped 11 players, including Steinbach native Ian While, a veteran defenceman with more than 500 NHL games on his resume.
White was in training camp on a tryout.
"We've seen some things from our young players and our young players have shown they look like they are capable... we want to take a look at our own people," Jets coach Claude Noel said after the day's two practices.
"We'll go in that direction."
Reassigned were forwards Austen Brassard, Blair Riley, J.C. Lipon, Jason Jaffray, John Albert, Kael Mouillierat and Will O'Neill, defencemen Cody Sol and Brenden Kichton and goalie Jussi Olkinuora,.
All will report to the AHL's St. John's IceCaps.
The moves leave the Jets with 37 players in camp, including 12 defenceman.
The total also includes forwards Adam Lowry, Andrew Gordon and Chris Thorburn, who are again cleared to practise after being injured,
As well, left-winger Eric Tangradi has a lower-body injury and is day-to-day and goalie Michael Hutchinson is away from the team temporarily for family reasons.
Back at it
Lowry was injured during main camp's first day last week. He skated on Thursday and was a full participant again Friday.
"It's coming along. It's the first day I did contact," the 20-year-old centre said. "Just banged my head a little, got some whiplash. Kind of got tripped and went in funny and just wasn't feeling right. We were being pretty cautious. I'm glad. You've got to take care of your head and neck.
"I've felt good the last few days so I'm just looking forward to being back."
Lowry, the team's second pick in 2011, said he doesn't know if he'll play one of the four remaining pre-season games.
"I'm just trying to get back to game speed right now and into practice," Lowry said. "When I get up to speed, we'll take things from there.
"It's amazing what a few days off will do to you."
Jets coach Claude Noel would certainly like to get a look at last season's WHL player of the year in action, but wouldn't say it will happen.
"I think the first thing we have to make sure of if Adam Lowry is going to play an exhibition game, is making sure he's going to be able to put his best foot forward," Noel said. "Health-wise, let's look at that. Then would it be nice to see him in a game? Yes. But we want to put him in a situation where he would succeed."
Full meal deal
Noel has yet to split the playing time for his goaltenders in any of the four pre-season games, the rationale being the club wants its stoppers to experience all situations in the game from the opening face-off to the final horn.
And, obviously, he's not getting any arguments from his goaltenders.
"If I go on the bench for half a game, it means I didn't have that third period (against Edmonton) where they had more chances," said Ondrej Pavelec, who will start tonight in Minnesota. "I think it's a little bit tougher for a goalie who is sitting on the bench for one hour-and-a-half and then has to go on the ice. I don't think I like that. If you've got an opportunity to play the whole game, why not?"