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Even Dump and Chase got involved in the playful rumour banter prior to Feb. 25, but the NHL’s swap meet is officially over. Just like their NHL brethren, the Winnipeg Jets will have to make do with what they’ve got in the system for the stretch run to the playoffs.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was a busy shopper, picking up centre Kevin Hayes to play big minutes on the club’s second line. He also acquired veteran and former Jets centre Matt Hendricks to add some character to the dressing room, along with defencemen Nathan Beaulieu and Bogdan Kiselevich and forward Par Lindholm.
Beyond Hayes, the others are depth players, although Beaulieu was slotted in immediately to play with Jacob Trouba Tuesday with Josh Morrissey on the injured list. Winnipeg surrendered a couple of late goals to Minnesota, falling 3-2 to the Wild. Next up is a visit Friday from the Nashville Predators, who, like the Jets, have had trouble stringing wins together lately.
Mike (a.k.a. Dump) and Jay (a.k.a. Chase) were not dealt at the deadline but have, indeed, parted company for about 10 days. Mike will follow the Jets on an extended road trip, while Jay hunkers down in Brandon for the 2019 Brier national men’s curling championship. The Mike McEwen foursome is representing Manitoba.
So, there’s plenty of on-ice action ahead for local sports fans. For now, we encourage you to take a peek at some of the strange and wonderful occurrences from the week that was in hockey. Enjoy.
Sometimes, you can get a little too warmed up.
Mere seconds after exiting the ice before their ECHL tilt, Mike Folkes of the Brampton Beast and James Melindy of the Newfoundland Growlers decided to get the party started a little early.
The result was about as old school as it gets.
(Note: if you're viewing this with any sensitive ears around, you may want to wait or turn down the volume, as there is a bit of salty commentary to go with it).
Plenty of players were on the move this week following the NHL trade deadline. Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was the busiest hockey boss, swinging six different deals.
Naturally, that meant many players were scrambling to get to their new homes.
Matt Duchene went all out, renting a private jet to pick up a few important items — his wife, his child, his dog — and his Ottawa Senators teammate, Ryan Dzingel, who was also traded to Columbus.
Duchene flew to Ottawa and grabbed his family...oh and Ryan Dzingel �� pic.twitter.com/Atvc41F5E1— The CBJ Artillery (@TheCBJArtillery) February 24, 2019
Meanwhile, another former Ottawa Senators star got quite the welcoming party in Vegas.
Yeah, we can see why Sin City might be a pretty desirable place to play. Meanwhile, Minnesota's Matt Hendricks loaded up his pickup truck and made the solitary seven-hour drive to Winnipeg to rejoin the Jets.
Where's the private jet, drum-line and Vegas showgirls when you need them, right Matt?
Dump & Chase love John Tortorella. We make no effort to disguise our respect and affection for the Columbus head coach. And we highlight his shenanigans as often as we can.
But this one is, perhaps, our favourite Torts moment EVER!
On Monday during a press conference, a call came in on a reporter’s phone that was positioned on the podium, presumably recording a Q and A with the enigmatic bench boss.
When it buzzed again, Torts took the call. It was The Athletic writer Tom Reed’s mother trying to reach her son.
If you haven’t seen this, you’re in for a treat. And if you have, click anyway and watch the magic once more.
John Tortorella pauses his press conference to talk to the mom of a reporter when she calls a phone on the podium pic.twitter.com/J4OwOhuYA3— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 25, 2019
We dig how polite and respectful he was during the exchange. He allowed himself one small dig at the reporter’s expense, but nothing that would really embarrass the dude.
Interestingly, Mike is heading to Columbus this weekend for the Jets’ clash with the Blue Jackets on Sunday. And he’ll be parked in that very press room firing questions at the outspoken coach.
So, what if Torts picked up the phone and spoke with Mike’s mom during a press conference?
This is how we believe the conversation would go...
"Hi, Mrs. McIntyre. No, it’s John Tortorella. JOHN TORTORELLA. Yes, ma’am. Yes, that SOB. I will try to be nicer to people, I promise. Not just my players but journalists, too.
"I’m sorry Mrs. McIntyre but I’m in a press conference right now, but just answered the phone because the call was interrupting us.
"What? No, I haven’t read any of Mike’s crime books. I’m sure they’re very good. Better than Grisham, you say? Well, Mrs. McIntyre, I’ll take your word for it. What’s that? No, I think Mike looks fine. I’ll tell him, Mrs. McIntyre. I promise. A haircut, yes Mrs. McIntyre. And more fibre in his diet. Got it. Take care, ma’am."
There was lots of heated debate this week after Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid was handed a two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Nick Leddy of the New York Islanders.
McDavid, of course, is not a dirty player but there's no question his actions crossed the line.
That said, there were plenty of hot takes on social media, not to mention a few funny ones, as well. Our favourite was this one, which took a ridiculous glitch from the NHL19 video game to make an impassioned plea for justice from the NHL.
McDavid gets two games for his hit meanwhile this got nothing?? Great work NHL pic.twitter.com/p8ZZ3cHhYI— Cam Lewis (@cooom) February 23, 2019
Evander Kane had one heck of a week.
First, the former Jets winger started a wee bit of a melee with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which included Sidney Crosby, of all people, trying to throw some bombs.
Then, Kane came out swinging against Boston's Zdeno Chara after taking what he felt was a high hit from the towering Boston blue-liner.
Evander Kane goes after and fights Zdeno Chara after getting dropped pic.twitter.com/NKNpxdO7GF— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 27, 2019
Then, after the NHL ruled there would be no suspension coming for Chara, Kane took to Twitter to express his views.
Subtle. Very subtle.
True story: Mike and Jay have seen their share of oddly-designed minor hockey rinks as long-time hockey parents and coaches. Mike's favourite is a barn in North Dakota that is actually inside an old renovated church, where the ceiling is so low that play was whistled down at least a dozen times as the puck continually hit it.
Well, you can put this barn right up at the top of the list in terms of flawed structures. For reasons that must have made sense to someone, there's a significant drop from where players enter the rink to the actual ice below.
And so as a young team came out for a recent game, hilarity ensued. They literally hit the ice.
You know the old saying "The best offence is a good defence"?
Well that may very well be true, it's hard to imagine how the Minnesota Wild were going to create any offence out of his particular defensive formation, which the talented Trevor Hagan snapped the other night at Bell MTS Place.
That's some Wild defence. (CP PHOTO) pic.twitter.com/mAsLGKvnNh— Ian Shantz (@IanShantz) February 27, 2019
Talk about stacking the house!
Every parent has wondered what their child is thinking during those first few days of whatever activity the little one is participating in. Hockey, soccer, dance, piano, taekwondo… it doesn’t matter. We know their minds are on overdrive. If only there was a way to eavesdrop.
Jeremy Rupke of Barrie, Ont., figured out a way — and it really wasn’t that complicated. He placed a microphone in the helmet of his four-year-old son, Mason, and took video of a hockey practice last week.
The results are priceless.
Mason has become a national treasure. As of Friday morning, the video has 6.3 million views on YouTube, other social media platforms and major media outlets such as ESPN and the Washington Post.
Out of the mouths of babes…
Wes McCauley is a beauty. And the veteran NHL referee was up to his old dramatic tricks this week as he decided to go into full-blown storytelling mode to explain why a goal was going to count.
A couple nights later, he was at it again, this time to wave off a Toronto goal for being offside.
There is no man more electric than Wes McCauley pic.twitter.com/16qW2zkR5o— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) March 1, 2019
Upon further review, we have a... good call!
Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows were two of the bigger personalities in the game. And now that both have hung up the blades, they apparently have lost a step in that department.
Bieksa has been terrific during stints on Sportsnet this season, and he got to shine this week as he welcomed his old Vancouver Canucks teammate on the air to take a trip down memory lane.
It was great stuff, and that journey actually took them back to Winnipeg when they were both playing for the Manitoba Moose, then the AHL affiliate of the Canucks.
If you didn't catch the segment, it's well worth your time.
The scene was a recent Vancouver Canucks game, where a telethon was underway to raise money for the team's charitable children's fund.
A great cause, for sure. So pity the three poor telephone operators who got caught on candid camera as they enjoyed a bit of idle time — only to go into complete panic mode and pretend to be super, duper busy when they realized they were on-air.
lol buuuuuusted pic.twitter.com/EgCBByFh7s— Andy Cole (@AndyCole84) February 26, 2019
Just priceless. Fake it till you make it, right?
Gritty was at it again last weekend during the Stadium Series game between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, rappelling from the roof of the stadium and then later streaking down at ice-level in all his orange glory.
But that scene didn't sit well with some of the other mascots across the NHL, who got a wee bit salty about what they felt were special privileges being extended to the NHL's newest furry freak.
Bailey, the not-so-cowardly lion from Los Angeles, went on the attack.
That got San Jose's Sharkie to begin circling the waters.
@BaileyLAKings. You know from all star that the rules dont apply to him ...... ;)— #SJSharkie (@sjsharkie) February 24, 2019
Even New Jersey's Devil weighed in, still angry that the NHL wasn't even following him on Twitter.
Glad they borrowed your suit idea too...and they still don’t follow the 3 of us...— NJ Devil (@NJDevil00) February 24, 2019
There's a real soap opera element to all of this, and we'd be lying if we said we aren't fascinated by it all. Stay tuned for the next episode of As The Mascots Turned.
I bet all zero of your followers laughed ����♂️ https://t.co/fZWgMFxjBR— Bailey LA Kings (@BaileyLAKings) February 24, 2019
Cameras caught Carolina head coach Rod Brind'Amour tearing a strip off his team the other day during a time-out.
Rod Brind’Amour is mad. pic.twitter.com/zjPQaa4GLS— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) February 22, 2019
Which apparently brought back memories to Brind'Amour's daughter, Briley, who had a funny take on her father's rant.
when he found out I was hiding a cat in my room... https://t.co/mvnxlXIy2h— Briley Brind'Amour (@briley_brind) February 22, 2019
Speaking of those Hurricanes and their controversial post-victory Storm Surges, we love what Philadelphia forward James van Riemsdyk had to say the other day.
To give you a bit of context, JVR's brother, Trevor, is a defenceman with the Hurricanes. And their father was among those along for a "mentor's trip" which includes a big Carolina victory.
Naturally, the cheer squad got in the act with their own post-game version.
Surge Together pic.twitter.com/Fv0aPdFxu1— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) February 22, 2019
And that prompted this from James after seeing his father in action.
I was fine with these celebrations, but now that there’s video footage of my dad flossing, I may have to reconsider ��♂️ https://t.co/PDgltoATF3— James van Riemsdyk (@JVReemer21) February 23, 2019
In case you missed it, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in on the Storm Surges this week with a pretty thoughtful analysis of why it works so well in this particular market, even if it's not everybody's cup of tea. Yes, we're looking at you, Don Cherry.
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