Kevin Cheveldayoff

Winnipeg GM has some work left to do


Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has some work to get done this summer.

The team hasn’t been overly active in free agency and perhaps that’s because they’ve got five key restricted free agents to get signed. Those five, who all filed for arbitration last week, include Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian, Bryan Little, Eric Tangradi, and Paul Postma.

Of that bunch, Little and Wheeler are two-thirds of their first line and Bogosian is a top-pair defenseman. Those are some potentially very costly contracts to get worked out. As Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe says, Cheveldayoff has no choice but open up the wallet to make sure these guys are taken care of.

According to, Winnipeg currently has the second-lowest payroll in the NHL at $45.8 million. Only the Islanders have a lower mark.

Jets owner David Thomson is one of the wealthiest people in North America. These signings will get done but you wonder why things play out like this.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.