THE Winnipeg Jets decided Sunday to keep their first exhibition game lineups under wraps.

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THE Winnipeg Jets decided Sunday to keep their first exhibition game lineups under wraps.

The team will reveal today which players will skate where for the pre-season contests at the MTS Centre and in Columbus, Ohio, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kevin  Cheveldayoff

Kevin Cheveldayoff

It's safe to say the Jets will ice a decent lineup at home, hoping to make a good first impression on their giddy fans.

"We've gone over the lineups" was the most definitive statement from anyone on the team, that from GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

We do know the coaching and management lineup.

Claude Noel

Claude Noel

Cheveldayoff will travel to Columbus to watch the action. St. John's IceCaps coach Keith McCambridge will be in charge of that game, along with Jets assistant Pascal Vincent and IceCaps assistant Mark Morrison.

In Winnipeg, Jets coach Claude Noel and his assistant Charlie Huddy will run the bench. Assistant GM Craig Heisinger will also stay at the MTS Centre.

By NHL rules, all teams' pre-season lineups must include eight players of veteran status.

"A lot of young players are going to get a chance to play," Cheveldayoff added. "Not every veteran will play in the first two games."

Noel would only say that three days of training camp and then a pre-season game wasn't the best schedule.

"I won't say we need a week to prepare, but there's a lot to cover in three days to get organized for one game," he said. "You have to try to make do. These guys have all played before. Not everything's going to be perfect. To answer your question, three days isn't enough, no."

Dustin Byfuglien

Dustin Byfuglien

Former Moose coach Scott Arniel is expected to be behind the Blue Jackets' bench.

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THE Jets have seven pre-season games, counting the two on one day, Tuesday.

Based on how the club will travel, though, no one player will get into more than five exhibition games.

Winnipeg will form a team for Saturday's game in Nashville and send the same team on to St. John's, N.L., for Monday's Kraft Hockeyville game against the Ottawa Senators. A different squad will travel to Charlotte, N.C., for Sunday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Jets have home pre-season games the following week against Nashville and Carolina.


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ROOKIE Adam Lowry made the mistake of trying to bodycheck Dustin Byfuglien on Sunday morning in the Jets' first scrimmage.

Big Buff didn't take kindly to Lowry's attempt and pinned the son of longtime NHLer Dave Lowry against the boards and gave him a mugging.

Byfuglien is listed at 6-5 and 265 pounds while Lowry is 6-4 and 184.

A number of players have been quickly tuned in by Byfuglien. He is at the top of the totem pole and anyone trying to make a name for themselves with physical play are invited to look elsewhere. Byfuglien shoved a pair of forwards into the net during Saturday's skate and added Lowry to his list of victims on Sunday.