Winnipeg Jets

NHL to potentially discuss emergency goalie rules at general managers meetings

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USA Today

NHL to potentially discuss emergency goalie rules at general managers meetings

The NHL general managers meetings are set to begin next week and one of the topics on the docket to be discussed may be emergency backup goalie (EBUG) procedures. The recent interest in reevaluating EBUG rules come after 42-year-old David Ayres suited up to play for the Carolina Hurricanes in their 6-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs this past weekend.

The issue of EBUGs comes up so rarely that NHL GMs don’t typically give it much thought. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly spoke about EBUGs this Tuesday during the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets game.

“It's something we've given some consideration to over the years. As recently as last year, we discussed [it] with the general managers. It happens very, very rarely, but when it happens, it obviously raises everybody's attention to the issue and whether there are fixes that need to be made to that particular issue,” he explained. “We have to work with the [NHL] Players' Association. Who's a player? Who's not a player? What qualifies all of that? But obviously we want what's best for the game, and we want to make sure people aren't putting themselves in danger by playing goal in a National Hockey League game. ... So that's obviously something we have to continue to work through."

Currently, the 2019-20 NHL official rules state, “if both listed goalkeepers are incapacitated, that team shall be entitled to dress and play any available goalkeeper who is eligible."

Ayres drives the Zamboni at the Mattamy Athletic Center in Toronto and frequently practices with the Leafs. Ayres stepped in the net after Hurricanes goalies James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were both injured. He made eight saves and is the oldest goalie in NHL history to make his regular season debut.

The Blackhawks had their own instance of needing an EBUG in 2018 against the Winnipeg Jets. Scott Foster, a then-36-year-old accountant stepped in the net at the United Center after Corey Crawford and Collin Delia were sidelined by injury. Foster saved all seven shots on goal, making him the first EBUG to make a save and a hometown hero in Chicago. 

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Head coach Paul Maurice gets multi-year extension from Winnipeg Jets

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USA Today

Head coach Paul Maurice gets multi-year extension from Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice has received a multi-year contract extension. While Maurice is unable to discuss the exact details of the contract until Thursday, the signing is a major vote of confidence from the organization after a less-than-stellar start to the 2019-20 season and NHL coaches getting the axe left and right.

Maurice joined the Jets in the middle of the 2013-14 season, has racked up a 264-183-53 record and has made the playoffs three times.

Many were speculating Maurice would be a tight spot this season after the Jets lost many strong defensive players over the offseason, but the Jets have managed to hang in there and are currently one point out of a Wild Card spot.

As of writing, the Jets are ranked fourth in the Central Division, three spots ahead of the Blackhawks. This season has been Maurice’s most difficult year with the team and he’s working with an understaffed defense, so imagine how strong the Jets will be if they’re able to rebuild their defense over the next few years of Maurice’s coaching tenure. Looks like the Central Division will be getting even more competitive. 

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Former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien in talks to end contract with Winnipeg Jets

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USA Today

Former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien in talks to end contract with Winnipeg Jets

Former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien is working with the Winnipeg Jets towards a mutual contract termination, according to multiple sources reported by TSN.

This mutual parting is seemingly a win-win for the Jets as well as Byfuglien. The 34-year-old defenseman has been off the ice since October after undergoing surgery on his ankle. Prior to surgery, Byfuglien took personal leave from the Jets in September and there was much speculation he was considering retirement. In November, Byfuglien filed a grievance to the NHLPA, saying he deserved to be paid during his recovery from a legitimate hockey injury.

According to TSN, he began rehabbing his ankle in December, but there haven’t been reports of when he was due back on the ice. This continued speculation that Byfuglien doesn’t intend to return to the Jets at all and wants to retire. If he does retire, Byfuglien will be leaving $14 million owed in salary over the final two years of his contract with the Jets.

The Jets have been in need a strong defenseman this season. After trading Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers becoming a free agent, they had been hoping to rely on Byfuglien in that role. Terminating Byfuglien and freeing up cap space will allow the Jets to shop around for a quality replacement. However, a hearing date for Byfuglien’s grievance hasn’t yet been set, so the Jets must consider the possibility he could return or win the grievance.

Byfuglien was an eighth-round draft pick for Chicago, entering the NHL in 2003. He played with the Hawks until 2010, winning the 2010 Stanley Cup before being traded.

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