Winnipeg forward Andrew Copp scored once and set up another before the game was two minutes old to spark the Jets to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at Bell MTS Place.
The team's first pre-season triumph was just a sidebar to a much larger story that came out earlier in the day — a suggestion by TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie that Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien is contemplating retirement during a leave of absence from the team.
No one, including Jets head coach Paul Maurice, Copp, Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey, would divulge any information following a morning skate, and Byfuglien's agent, Ben Hankinson, chose not to return a call from the Free Press, again.
Free Press columnist Mike McIntyre and hockey writer Jason Bell fill our readers in.
Training camp continues Thursday, and the Jets battle the visiting St. Louis Blues in another exhibition test Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Bombers continue to prepare for Saturday's battle with the Als in Montreal. Winnipeg (9-3) leads the West Division, while Montreal (6-5) is second in the East.
Free Press football writer Jeff Hamilton has a couple of stories from Bombers practice Wednesday.
- Pre-season action: Jets start fast, cruise to win
- Mike McIntyre: Big Buff retirement rumours hit full stride
- Teammates stand by Byfuglien: Jets respect personal needs of missing star player
What we're reading
- Pay attention, poolies: These 10 sleepers might just push you over the edge in your annual hockey pool. (Hockey News)
- Hope springs eternal: The Senators and their loyal followers are expecting brighter days ahead. (Hockey News)
- Welcoming back Boeser: The Canucks thrilled to have talented young forward signed, sealed and delivered. (Vancouver Courier)
In case you missed it
- Laine's lament: Some odd comments from restricted free agent Patrik Laine to a Finnish journalist caused some ripples across the pond. FP columnist Mike McIntyre offers his take.
- Collision course: Jets hopefuls Kristian Vesalainen and Sami Niku got a lesson on the perils of driving in Winnipeg.
- Cup winners visit: Winnipeg hosts St. Louis in pre-season action Friday, 7 p.m. at Bell MTS Place, although it certainly won't the Blues lineup that capture the NHL crown.
- Ice ready to roll: The Winnipeg Ice visit Brandon to take on the Wheat Kings on Friday night, and the WHL teams then play the rematch in Winnipeg on Saturday.