The Winnipeg Jets have signed free agent forwards Patrice Cormier and Matt Fraser to matching one-year, two-way contracts worth $650,000, the club announced on Thursday.
Cormier spent much of the 2014-15 season with the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps scoring 12 goals and 21 points in 47 games. The 25-year-old appeared in one game with the Jets last season.
Fraser split the 2014-15 season between the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers. He appeared in 24 games with the Bruins scoring three goals. The Oilers claimed Fraser off of waivers from the Bruins in December.
In 36 games in Edmonton, Fraser scored five goals and four assists.
As Jets’ beat writer Ken Wiebe notes, Fraser has been a prolific goal scorer at the AHL level scoring 90 goals and 131 points in 181 games.
The Colorado Avalanche will look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they visit the Winnipeg Jets.
Colorado (2-4-2) is coming off a 7-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks Friday night. Winnipeg (2-5-0) meanwhile is 1-3-0 on home ice this season and have just one win in their last six.
Colorado had just 12 goals-for in their first seven games prior to the win over Vancouver.
“As an offensive team, you need to see pucks go in to get your confidence,” said Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. “We’ve had games where we probably could have scored that many goals and we didn’t. It’s frustrating (knowing that), and really nice to see all those go in.
“I know that everyone’s going to have a little more jump in their step. It bleeds into the next game.”
Colorado was 3-0-2 against the Jets last season with the final four games ending in overtime or a shootout.
Winnipeg has also struggled offensively averaging less than two goals per game while allowing nearly three.
Centre Bryan Little leads the Jets with four goals. Blake Wheeler has five goals and 10 assists in a seven-game point streak against Colorado.
The Jets recalled center Patrice Cormier from its’ American Hockey League affiliate on Saturday. Cormier had two goals in four games for the St. John’s IceCaps.
“Clearly there’s some good offense that’s being had by our team that’s not being converted into goals,” coach Paul Maurice told NHL.com. “There’s some guys up front who are really high-end skill level.
“We need that first aggressive push and then we need our people working real hard back to get it done.”
Semyon Varlamov (1-2-1) gets the Start for the Avalanche while Ondrej Pavelec (2-4-0) is the likely starter for the Jets.
Thanks to the lockout, he’s with the St. John’s IceCaps anyhow and he’s playing every role for them. He’s on one of the top lines, he’s running the point on the power play, and he’s killing penalties. He’s happy to do whatever he can to live up to his potential.
“I’m still learning how to play hockey,” Burmistrov says. “I appreciate they give me a lot of ice time. I just need to play my game and help my team.”
It’s been a whirlwind trip for Burmistrov in his career, but being a former top pick in the AHL means people are gunning for him and he’s ready for it.
“It’s always like this, every game. I’m not a fighter so I won’t be fighting. They try to get under my skin but it never works. I don’t care, I just do my job.”
If he brings that kind of attitude back to Winnipeg when the NHL returns, their sold-out crowds will love him all the more.
Alexander Burmistrov is a player the Winnipeg Jets hope can live up to his potential and the lockout might turn into the best thing for him.
Thanks to the owners and players duking it out, Burmistrov gets a free pass to play in the AHL with the Jets’ AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps. While his NHL career to this point has been rocky, he tells the Winnipeg Sun he wants to get things done in the minors.
“You know what, it’s a great level. It’s good competition for me,” said Burmistrov. “I hope this will help me be better and better. For myself, I have to score some goals, get some assists for my linemates and my goal is to try and help the team win games.”
Burmistrov is the lone NHL guy set to play in the AHL and the Jets are fortunate he’s not on an NHL-only contract or else he’d likely be in the KHL by now. If he can get his game straightened out, the Jets’ offense will get a much needed boost.
Winnipeg’s AHL team called St. John’s IceCaps; Good nickname or silly nonsense?
Now that the Winnipeg Jets have a name and a logo, their AHL farm team in St. John’s, Newfoundland was in need of the same treatment themselves. Today, they unleashed the team’s new look and name upon the minor league hockey world. The former Manitoba Moose will be called the St. John’s IceCaps.
No, that’s not a typo and yes, your grammar alarm is going off big time. Then again, the AHL is a league that has two teams nicknamed “Admirals” so let’s just have some fun with this. Yes, you’d better believe that both the Milwaukee and Norfolk Admirals had better be instant rivals with the IceCaps. Titanic Night at the arena should be a lot of fun, especially for the fan that ends up being the “king of the world.”
“I am so pleased to present the St. John’s IceCaps and our new logo to fans, as we begin a new era of professional hockey in the province,” said Mr. Williams. “The IceCaps is a name that I am confident hockey fans will support as it captures both our rich hockey history with a reference to the Caps, while at the same time capturing a natural element that is iconic for the province, ice. We wanted to ensure that, although the team is based in our capital city, the province as a whole can identify with it and embrace it as their own.”
Never mind that whole thing with there being an NHL team referred to as the “Caps” already, their reasons behind the name make sense. It’s all about identity for the area and their home city and its importance to them. That’s great and wonderful and good for the folks in St. John’s to once again have AHL hockey.
That said, reading the marketing buzz words behind the reasons for the team name and the team logo make for a hilarious read. Here’s a sample. First, the reason for the name IceCaps.
The team name, IceCaps, is a clever combination of the history we are so proud of and the climate and landscape for which we are so well known.
The name is nostalgic of the St. John’s Caps, the local NAHA senior hockey team, circa 1960. The Caps, of course, is short for Capitals, St. John’s being the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador.
That’s a creative use of the word “clever” at the very least. As for the team’s logo, there’s a lot to be said for getting inventive and silly all at once.
The logo features a jagged mountain or rock with the geographic shape of Newfoundland and Labrador on its surface like snow or ice. This province is beloved for its rugged landscape, geology, and snow-capped mountains in our northern regions.
All right, that’s a pretty neat touch. It also teaches some of us silly Americans a bit about Canadian geography. We could all use some brushing up on that, especially when it comes to extreme eastern Canada. With that said, these next two pieces are just crazy.
The colours in the logo represent the coldness of ice, as well as our ocean culture. In fact, when you look at the word IceCaps, you can see the line where the ocean meets the sky. The colours also stay true to those of our parent NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets.
The mountain graphic and the IceCaps font are purposely jagged and edgy: rugged like our land, strong like our people, and fierce like our hunger for hockey.
We think it looks nice, but the name itself is rather silly. What do you make of it though? Let us know in the poll and in the comments.