Jets starting season with fresh slate, says Ladd
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/09/2014 (3001 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Everyone likes to remind the Winnipeg Jets they haven’t been playoff team for seven seasons running.
Captain Andrew Ladd said Friday the team is preferring to look at a shorter-term picture and look at it differently.
“Every year is a clean slate for everybody,” Ladd said. “I think that the confidence we took away from the end of the year, the adversity we went through with having a lot of guys out of the lineup at the end of the year and still battling until the bitter end, even though we were out of it, said a lot about our group and it got everybody excited about our potential. I feel that excitement coming into camp from everybody, that we can take this to another level.”
Ladd was among seven regulars who missed the final week to two weeks of the season with injuries.
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New Jets centre Mathieu Perreault offered an outsider’s perspective on the stiff test of Day 1 of camp, one that concluded for each of the two groups with a conditioning skate of half an hour.
“It was a hard day,” Perreault said. “In Washington it was always a little different. Paul Maurice is a really intense coach, which is good. We had an intense skate, probably one of the hardest skates I’ve had in all my pro training camps.
“I think it’s kind of what we need.”
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The short-term future is likely to find Eric Comrie, the 19-year-old goalie drafted in the second round of 2013, heading back for another season in the WHL.
After a good performance in the rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C., he knows what’s ahead, but said he’s more than engaged for this camp.
“When you come up here it humbles you a little bit,” Comrie said. “You get the sense of how good these NHL players really are and how they can put the pucks where they want almost every single time. For (myself), it’s about going back to junior and getting better at the fundamental things, at the positioning.”
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Jets coach Paul Maurice said veteran defenceman Mark Stuart, who was missing on Friday, will be back on the ice in the next day or two. Maurice said a very minor injury kept Stuart off the ice.
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The Jets said Friday Blake Wheeler will wear the alternate captain’s ‘A’ this season, supporting the team’s other alternate Mark Stuart and captain Andrew Ladd.
“Certainly we’ve got other candidates, but Blake, for me, was a pretty easy call,” Maurice said, praising Wheeler’s leadership.
Wheeler said he was flattered.
“I take it with a lot of pride,” he said. “I’ve considered myself a leader on this team the last couple of years and I think we have a lot of leaders on our team. It’s not just the guys wearing letters. There’s quite a few guys that carry a large leadership role.”
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Centre Mark Scheifele said getting back into action in the world championship for Team Canada last spring was an important ending for his season.
Scheifele’s NHL season ended March 4 after an knee check from Calvin de Haan of the Islanders.
“It definitely helped my mental state, to be able to play a little bit at the end of last year and know that I still had it after I was injured,” Scheifele said. “It was a good experience for me and I learned a lot.”
Scheifele said he has returned to Winnipeg leaner.
“I put on weight but the big thing Gary (Roberts) helped me with was cutting some body fat as well,” he said. “It was a matter of putting on more muscle and cutting a bit of baby fat.”
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Today at the MTS Iceplex in conjunction with their second day of on-ice training camp, the Jets will hold their first FanFest.
The outdoor event begins at 9 a.m. and is free for the public. It runs until 2 p.m. with a range of interactive games and activities.