Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:22 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 1:36 pm
By: Adam Gretz
On Monday the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Antti Miettinen, a forward that had started the season playing for Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, to a two-year, $3 million contract in an effort to add some forward depth to their struggling team that, after Monday's 5-4 loss to New Jersey, sits near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
According to league rules, because Miettinen had started the season playing overseas he was forced to pass through waivers before he could officially report to the Lightning. And he's not going to get the chance to do that, as the Winnipeg Jets claimed him on waivers on Tuesday morning.
The Lightning did all of the work, and the Jets end up getting the player.
We saw this exact scenario play out multiple times last season. The St. Louis Blues lost players they had signed on two seperate occassions, one involving Marek Svatos and the other time with Kyle Wellwood. The Detroit Red Wings ran into an issue when they attempted to sign veteran goalie Evgeni Nabokov after he was left go by his KHL team only to have the New York Islanders, desperate for a veteran goalie due to an in-season trade and multiple injuries, snag him on the waiver wire. Nabokov then refused to report the team, sat out the remainder of the season, and then finally joined the Islanders this season.
I still find it amazing that the same general managers who refuse to make offer sheets to restricted free agents because of some unwritten, gentlemens agreement have no issue taking part in waiver claims like this. There's nothing wrong with it, of course, as it's how the system works and if you can add a player that you think can help your team, you should absolutely go for it.
After the signing was announced on Monday Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman acknowledged there was a possibility that Miettinen could be claimed by another team, telling Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times, "There's a possibility. We sat around here waiting for a week to see if anyone would sign him. We'll see what happens."
The 30-year-old Miettinen spent the previous three seasons in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild after starting his career with the Dallas Stars. In 472 NHL games he's scored 89 goals, including at least 15 in each of the past four seasons.
During his brief stay with Ak Bars Kazan this season he scored two goals to go with six assists in 20 games before he was let out of his contract with the club.
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Posted on: October 17, 2011 11:38 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 12:19 pm
Is there any doubt what kind of home-ice advantage the Jets will have in Winnipeg? There shouldn't be.
The only thing left for the Jets 2.0 to accomplish was a win, and they got it in Game No. 4 on Monday night back in the 'Peg. Before some fans were even in their seats, Kyle Wellwood tied a franchise record by scoring eight seconds into the game. The Hangar went nuts.
You'd think it was the Stanley Cup Finals with that kind of reaction.
But the sight of the night across the NHL on Monday will be the final minute in Winnipeg. It looked like every fan in the arena stuck around until the final seconds ticked off, and the place went nuts.
Watching on television, it looked awfully similar to the final few seconds of the Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid. Fans all standing, cheering their lungs out.
Former NHLer Bob Errey, doing color commentary for the Penguins' telecast, remarked in amazement that the MTS Centre was "as loud an arena as I've ever heard in the NHL. Unbelievable."
That's quite a difference from the last time the Penguins saw this team, the final NHL game played in Atlanta last spring. That's not meant to shovel any more dirt on the Atlanta hockey grave, right now the atmosphere in Winnipeg is putting every other city to shame.
Just wait until the Jets get good.
Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:42 pm
By: Adam Gretz
The Winnipeg Jets reportedly agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal with free agent center Kyle Wellwood on Thursday night, according to Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun. The Jets haven't officially announced the move, but Wellwood's name did appear on the team's roster on its official website, before quickly being removed.
The 28-year-old Wellwood spent last season with the San Jose Sharks and scored five goals in 35 regular season games, before recording seven points in 18 playoff games. For his career, which has also included time with the Toronto Maple Leafs (the team that drafted him) and Vancouver Canucks, he's scored 68 goals in 373 games.
For a team that doesn't have a ton of depth down the middle it could prove to be a solid depth move, as Wellwood can add some decent offense from a bottom-six role and is a strong presence in the face-off circle.