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Mike McIntyre | On Sports
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Coming to you from Winterpeg
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Coming to you from Winterpeg

B IS FOR BLIZZARD:

In a perfect world, I would have been coming to you today from sunny south Florida, where my app tells me it’s supposed to hit a glorious mid-afternoon high of 25 C. 

That sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? Palm trees, Green grass. Warm tropical breezes. Sigh... 

I’d be getting ready for Friday night’s Jets vs. Panthers clash, which would complete my tour of all 32 NHL rinks. I planned to write a big feature about it for Saturday’s Free Press, too. 

Instead, I’m coming to you from Winterpeg, Manisnowba, where an unrelenting winter decided to have one last laugh this week. 

And among the many weather-related cancellations was my flight early this morning to the Sunshine State. 

Winnipeg’s NHL team ducked out of here early, on Tuesday afternoon in fact, so it could beat the incoming storm. They had just chartered back from Montreal in the wee hours of the morning, and I can only imagine the conversations some players had with their extremely patient spouses. 

“Hey honey, I’m home. But, uh, funny story. Duty calls. I gotta go right back to work! Instead of Thursday afternoon, we’re gonna fly to Florida today. Hey, have you seen my swimsuit? I left the shovel out by the front door. Hope it isn’t too bad! See you in 10 days!” 

The Jets face Panthers, move over to Tampa Bay on Saturday and then wrap up the away portion of the regular season with games next Tuesday on Broadway against the New York Rangers and then 48 hours later in Raleigh, N.C., against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

The Free Press has been on the road all season, with myself and colleague Jeff Hamilton combining to cover the first 37 out-of-town games. Unfortunately, thanks to a big assist from Mother Nature, we’ll be doing these final four from the (relative) comfort of home. 

Don’t worry — I’ve already called dibs on the Panthers game for next year. I’m bound and determined to compete my arena Bingo card! 

It’s not all bad. I get to spend some extra time at home with our new rescue dog, one-year-old Piper, who has taken a huge shine to her big brother, seven-year-old Bodie. Watching them play together outside Wednesday almost — ALMOST — made me happy to see the white stuff. 

Bodie and Piper are enjoying the dog days of winter and had no problem taking a snow day. (Supplied)

Bodie and Piper are enjoying the dog days of winter and had no problem taking a snow day. (Supplied)

All that play leads to a well-deserved catnap for the two tired pups. (Supplied)

 

Another bonus is getting to spend Easter at home, including joining the extended family for a Sunday dinner I was originally going to miss. That is, as long as we can dig our way out of this latest dump. 

Hey, you know where I hear they DON’T have any snow? Florida! 

Sigh. 

 


 

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SEATTLE: 

I’m not sure what to make of this. 

You’ll recall the Jets’ Jan. 8 game against visiting Seattle that had to be postponed and re-scheduled for later in the year, owing to pandemic protocols in place at the time that allowed a maximum of 250 fans at Canada Life Centre. 

Well, Wednesday’s home game against the same squad met a similar fate, this time owing to the storm that forecasters believed would be one of the worst we’ve experienced in decades. (It didn’t help that the Kraken played in Calgary on Tuesday night, would have had to fly in early Wednesday morning, and both Winnipeg and Seattle would have then needed to get out of town today in order to make their next games). 

Which makes me wonder: When Seattle is slated to come to Winnipeg next year for their one and only visit (the Jets will head to Washington state twice), what might the hockey gods have in store?

After all, don’t those things typically happen in threes? 

My money is on swarms of locusts, with murder hornets running a close second. 

 


 

SAY HELLO TO OUR NEW SPORTS EDITOR. HIS NAME MIGHT RING A BELL: 

At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to butter up the new boss, let me extend a very public welcome to the new sports editor of the Free Press

Regular readers of our paper will need no introduction. 

Jason Bell has been my partner-in-crime on the Jets beat for the past several seasons, and I’m thrilled at this exciting new step in his career. 

He’s going to knock it out of the park, and we couldn’t be in better hands as a department. He knows the staff inside out, knows the community and the teams we cover like the back of his hand, and he’s a pleasure to deal with. 

Except for when we’re on a golf course, where Jay often teeters between wanting to tee it up on the pro tour and selling his clubs and retiring, depending on how he performed on a specific hole. Yeah, he can be a wee bit competitive. 

Jay and I go way back to our many years on the news side, where we teamed up to cover all kinds of police and justice-related matters. And it’s been great to continue working with him in sports, including our “Dump and Chase” online notebook we created and had a ton of fun with for a few years. 

He called dibs on “Chase,” by the way. Leaving me to be “Dump.” 

The artists formerly known as Dump and Chase are now your sports columnist and sports editor. (Supplied)

 

Jay is also getting into the newsletter game, and his “Behind The Bench” missive will arrive in your email inbox every Tuesday and Friday, likely beginning in the next week or two. Make sure to sign up to receive his newsletter when it’s up and running. 

 


 

Have a great week, folks. Stay safe, stay warm and don’t overdo it on the shovelling. That stuff is like wet cement!

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre, Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre

WHAT I’VE BEEN WORKING ON:


Too many points left on the table

Offensive shortcomings the reason Jets outside of playoff picture Read More

 

Moose ready to bust loose

Solid squad looking forward to lengthy AHL playoff run Read More

 

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Jets ‘D’ comically painful to watch

Derisive laughter the norm these days Read More

 

Masters comeback proves Tiger’s tale far from over

You have to go all the way down to No. 973 to find him in the latest world rankings, tied with Argentina’s Marcos Montenegro and American Julian Suri. Neither of those unheralded pro golfers were anywhere near Augusta this week. Read More

 

Jets drop fourth straight in 5-4 OT loss to Avs

There was a time, not very long ago, when Friday night’s clash at Canada Life Centre looked like a potential first-round playoff matchup. In that sense, perhaps it’s a good thing the Winnipeg Jets didn’t mortgage the future at the trade deadline by pulling out all the stops to make it happen. Read More

 

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