Jets vs. Canes: two teams in transition
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/12/2011 (4120 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Two teams in the midst of a metamorphosis meet Friday in Winnipeg as the surging Jets play host to a Carolina Hurricanes squad just trying to tread water amid some significant changes.
The Jets will make a couple of roster adjustments, activating defenceman Randy Jones and centre Nik Antropov for Arturs Kulda and Carl Klingberg, while veteran Chris Mason will make his first start since last month. And the Hurricanes, who won their first game under new head coach Kirk Muller in Edmonton Wednesday night, also made a deal this morning by sending Tomas Kaberle to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek.
Spacek, 37, is expected to join the Canes in time for tonight’s game at MTS Centre (7:30 p.m.; TSN Jets/TSN Sports Radio) after coming off injured reserve with an upper-body injury.
“I hope so,” said Muller after the Canes morning skate in Winnipeg. “We’re a bit down in the numbers, but he’ll be in here tonight and dressed and we’ll throw him right into the fire and be ready to go.
“I know Spac from Montreal (where Muller served as an assistant). He’s going to be a player that is going to give us some minutes five on five. He’s still got a competitive level with him and he’s a great team guy, so he’ll fit in well with this group. For Tomas, I think it’s an opportunity to quarterback a power-play and he’s got some great offence still left in him and he’s got a (Stanley Cup) ring on his finger now so Montreal is getting a good player as well.”
Added Canes’ GM Jim Rutherford, who signed Kaberle to a three-year $12.75-million free-agent contract this summer, in an interview with the Raleigh News-Observer: “I should have known better. Tomas is a player who has had a very good career but I should have known better in the sense of where he was in his career. He won the Stanley Cup, he had a short summer and at the start of training camp and the start of the season he was not where he needed to be (physically).
“He has not done as well as expected, just as the team has not done as well as expected. He has played better the last couple of weeks. But to have flexibility next year without his contract is important to us.”
The Jets have won three straight to improve to 12-11-4, 12th in the Eastern Conference.
“We’re certainly going to be aware of Carolina,” said Jets’ head coach Claude Noel. “The question for me, and I’m well aware of it, is when you go after these emotional wins like Boston (a 2-1 victory Tuesday) and you face Carolina… I’m not taking them lightly, especially after the deal they made today. That will certainly get the attention of the players.”