Mark Chipman

Winnipeg is close to the cap and they’re OK with that


If you take a look over at, you’ll see a team near the top of the payroll list that we’re not accustomed to seeing there.

The Winnipeg Jets’ payroll this season is currently just over $62 million putting them just $2 million off the cap. After signing Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, and Zach Bogosian to long-term lucrative extensions, cap space is tight and the team executives are just fine with that

As Jets co-owner Mark Chipman tells Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press, they’re comfortable spending that much to try and ice a winner.

“As you probably know, we’ve got one of the largest number of multi-year agreements in the league,” he said. “We’ve had plenty of time to consider this and we’ve had a plan established for some time and we’re merely following it.”

The Jets have 11 players signed to multi-year deals through 2015-16. The team also has its season tickets sold out and a waiting list to get them a mile long to help keep bringing in cash.

With that kind of setup it would’ve been more surprising to see the Jets not cough up money to keep players who’ve done well for them.

Is the lockout going to get Ron Hainsey blacklisted by the owners?


Ron Hainsey’s role with the NHLPA has been a very obvious one throughout the lockout. He’s been involved in almost all the talks and during this latest round of failed discussions, he’s been the go-to player for choice quotes.

With all that said, is his work with the union going to wind up costing him his career? Elliotte Friedman from CBC has heard rumblings that it could happen and had to ask him about it.

“Do you worry that, after your contract is completed, you’ll never play in the NHL again?”

“My wife and I have talked about it,” he said.  “If I play the way I’m capable of, everything will work out.”

The problem Hainsey has run into is that his apparent “bad cop” routine in questioning NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in meetings as well as getting under the skin of hardliner owners Jeremy Jacobs and Murray Edwards. Friedman says the motivation to bring Jets owner Mark Chipman to the meetings last week was to not just bring a moderate but to get Hainsey to fall in line. It didn’t happen.

Hainsey’s been good to the players in helping them better understand how things are working, but perhaps his biggest “crime” is that he’s a staunch supporter of Donald Fehr. Combine that with any apparent disrespect the owners might’ve felt from him in meetings as well as Hainsey’s UFA status after this season and he may never get another contract.

PHT Morning Skate: Where the Jets owner is part psychic

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman played the part of psychic telling former Jets star (Jets version 1.0 that is) Randy Carlyle that he would wind up being coach of the Maple Leafs… Five years ago. (Toronto Sun)

Chicago is putting Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith back together as a defensive pairing? Somebody cue up “Reunited” by Wu-Tang Clan for these guys. No way were we going with Peaches & Herb, man. (

Robin Lehner’s run filling in in goal for Ottawa was nice and all, but now it’s 6’7″ Ben Bishop’s turn to take over. (Ottawa Sun)

Shootout superstar Linus Omark would still very much like to stick in Edmonton this time around. Where would you rather spend your days: Edmonton or Oklahoma City. See, tough decision. (Edmonton Sun)

Ian Cole is about to get another shot of action in St. Louis. (Post-Dispatch)

Jonathan Toews’ latest off-ice workout has Joel Quenneville feeling positive about his progress. (

Joe Thornton called Monday’s long practice an “important” one for the team as they fight for the playoffs. (

Finally, check out Bobby Ryan’s high-flying breakaway goal. On the play, Teemu Selanne’s assist tied him with Jari Kurri for most points by a Finnish player in the NHL. Awesome all around. (NHL)

Winnipeg Jets make their first pick and name official; No sight of new uniforms yet

For outsiders, the moment might have been a bit anticlimactic.  True North Sports and Entertainment executive Mark Chipman casually slipped “Jets” into Winnipeg’s team name before the team announced their first pick, confirming the rumors in the least bombastic way possible. Many probably believe that the new Jets were guilty of a “reach” with their first-ever first round draft as well, stunning some by selecting Mark Scheifele.

It was tough to elicit much more than a yawn when Scheifele was handed a ceremonial jersey, too. Instead of taking the opportunity to unveil an expected logo and uniform change, the Jets handed their first pick a generic jersey with the NHL logo. Perhaps it was a matter of red tape, but it left many people wondering about a missed marketing opportunity.

That being said, Jets fans (aka the group of people True North care about the most) probably don’t care that much; they are too busy celebrating the return of the NHL to their hockey-starved market. Many media members remarked that Minnesota felt more like Winnipeg tonight as “Go Jets Go” chants cascaded through the Xcel Energy Center. At times, the 2011 NHL Entry draft was another excuse to celebrate this dream-turned-reality for Winnipeg hockey fans.

True North made the move official, decided to name the team the Jets, added their new general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, hired their new coach Claude Noel and made Scheifele their first top pick in one break-neck month of activity. Now if they could just unveil those new sweaters …

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