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.
It’s been a bit of a strange trip for Alex Burmistrov since he was drafted into the NHL and going from Atlanta to Winnipeg was just the beginning.
Last season, just his second in the league, saw him break out a bit scoring 13 goals and seeing more ice time than his downer of a rookie year, but there were thoughts he might wind up in the AHL to start this year.
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.