Kevin Cheveldayoff

Jets GM is making calls, takings calls — but is change coming?


Kevin Cheveldayoff may be frustrated, and he’s willing to make a move if the right one presents itself. But the Jets’ general manager isn’t going to make a change just for the sake of change.

“On this side of it, you make calls, you take calls, you’re always looking and talking to different people within the game, other managers, your scouts,” Cheveldayoff said, per the Winnipeg Free Press.

“There are multiple, easy avenues that seem like they’re the way to go but there are 30 teams in this league that are doing the same thing and trying to effect that ultimate goal and that’s to win the Stanley Cup.”

The Jets seem pretty far away from that ultimate goal these days. After a good win Monday in Columbus, they blew a 2-0 lead last night in Buffalo, eventually falling 4-2 to the Sabres, aka the worst team in the NHL.

Firing coach Claude Noel would be the easiest change for Cheveldayoff to make. But then, is the coach really the problem?

A big trade would shake things up as well. But mid-season swaps are typically tougher to make, and they’re especially tough this season with so many teams up against the salary cap.

After 36 games, Winnipeg sits 10 points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. According to Sports Club Stats, the Jets have a 1.6 percent chance of making the postseason. Which is to say, if Cheveldayoff is realistic, 2013-14 may be beyond salvaging in terms of making the playoffs.

But if he holds off on any major change before the season ends and his team does indeed miss the playoffs (again), staying inactive during the summer may not be an option in a city that’s moved beyond the excitement of having its hockey team back. The fans want results now.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.