Saturday Morning Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

@Chuck Duboff

  • New York Yankees Spring Training Record:  24-9; watching the Bombers spring training games, it is so refreshing to finally see young talent, as opposed to the days of signing “star players” with one or two good seasons left.  They may not make the playoffs this season, but look out for my Yankees, they will be knocking on the door real soon!!
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A big part of the Yankees youth movement:  1B, Greg Bird.

  • Great seeing the effort by the Jets over this past few weeks; even though they are out of the playoffs, the players are realizing how very good this team is and are showing that they have what it takes to be a playoff team.
  • That being said…had we had, even average goaltending this season, the Jets would be in the playoffs.  Right now we sit at 29th in goaltending, imagine where we’d be if we were even at 15th?  Five more wins, eight more wins?  Who knows, but Chevy’s goal this summer has to be to sign a Ben Bishop, Marc-Andre Fleury type goalie!!
  • Top priority this offseason…Jacob Trouba signed to a monster contract!!

    jacob-trouba-winnipeg-jets

    Chevy needs to get Trouba signed to a monster deal this summer!!

  • How’s all that winning going Mr. President?
  • Guess what you lying, , hypocrite…the noose is tightening and all your lies about Russia will be exposed and you will be sent to prison for TREASON!!
  • Let’s hope this early spring is just that…SPRING!!!
  • Thrilled that I have the cabin in Falcon booked now for six days in May…peacefulness personified!!
  • I can’t thank the Winnipeg Goldeyes enough for giving Laine and Ben and I a tour of the Goldeyes locker room and dugout.  Such a thrill for all three of us…the kids are such huge Goldeyes fans…they couldn’t stop talking about seeing Reggie Abercrombie and Kevin McGovern’s lockers!!  Andrew and Steve….you guys rock!17457764_10154869183725783_4097326211823024607_n
  • Was talking with my travel agent already about next winter’s trip to Puerto Vallarta!!!
  • If you are not watching Schitt’s Creek on CBC, you are missing the funniest show on television; the cast and the writing is unbelievable:  Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, Annie Murphy, Chris Elliot…I am quite literally in tears laughing watching that show!!  Great to see CBC support this show and watch it become a mega hit, here in Canada and now into the States.Schitts
  • Two more days and it’s PLAY BALL!!!
  • My very good friend, my brother from another mother, Geoff…made such a profound, yet simple comment a couple of Sunday’s ago…it’s something I really want to write about!!  When I talked about the joy and pleasure I had in writing about and receiving messages about the All Time Goldeyes Team…Geoff said: “that’s what it’s all about Chuck”…and it hit me like a brick!!  That truly is what life is about…finding that what gives us joy and savouring those moments!!  I love writing and am equally passionate about baseball…getting to put my music on, make coffee and write about baseball for 3 1/2 hours…that truly is what it’s all about.  Like Geoff and I said…it’s not going to be a thunderbolt moment that tells us about what life is about…but rather it’s living in those moments and being aware of how fortunate we are.  Thank you Geoff…
  • Friendships truly are a blessing!!
  • It has been Pearl Jam 24/ 7 for about three months…this Neil Young & Pearl Jam version of Rockin in the Free World is just unreal; enjoy:  (FYI…watching it on the 65″ 4K big screen with surround sound…it’s like you’re at the freakin concert!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvtdbfI1sqQ

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Upcoming feature…Winnipeg Goldeyes all time team…with contributions from several long time fans!! by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

WATCH FOR THE ALL TIME GOLDEYES TEAM, SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH!!

It’s always debated amongst fans of pro sports teams:  who was our all time best first baseman, our best goalie, our best QB…arguments ensue and fun times are had.

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Over the next few days I will be putting together an All Time Winnipeg Goldeyes team; I have reached out to several long time Goldeyes fans to get their opinions…
And…if you would like to contribute your thoughts, send me your list of players at the following positions:

2 Starting Pitchers
2 Bullpen Pitchers
Catcher
1B
2B
SS
3B
3 Outfielders
DH
Bench (no more than 3 players)

You can send your list to: cduboff@gmail.com

Just to whet your appetite, my personal list would include Ryan Robertson and Reggie Abercrombie…

Reggie

WATCH FOR THE ALL TIME GOLDEYES TEAM, SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH!!

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts; by Chuck Duboff

VACATION TRAVEL BEST OF THE MIDWEST

“Is this heaven, no it’s Iowa.”  Field of Dreams.

© Chuck Duboff

  • It’s March, the month in which Manitobans can experience all four seasons in one day!!!
  • Big shout out to the Winnipeg Jets for the support they gave to Tyler Myers and his family during a very difficult time.  If you haven’t seen this video, take a few minutes…it’s a reminder of what is important in life:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKAzXhxc1zk
  • Moments of clarity are fleeting; yesterday afternoon and evening provided me with a peacefulness and understanding rarely felt; it was tangible and quite a new feeling.  Grateful for those moments.
  • Though the Jets won’t make the playoffs this season, wins at any time of the year are part of the growth process…I would like to see Roslavic and Conner called up for the balance of the season in order to get a feel for hockey at the next level.Ros
  • So Brian Pallister takes two month winter holidays to Costa Rica; took a 20% pay increase last year…and now he is gutting and slashing every program in Manitoba. Hope everybody is enjoying the PST going down from 8% to 7%!!!  NOT!!
  • What a very special night it was on Thursday evening watching the Jets game with Laine and Ben; non stop commentary, hi jinks, cuddling and just having a great time!!  #grateful.

    Ben, Laine and I playing

    This picture was from the spring the Jets came back to Wpg; 6 years ago and still having fun together!!

  • Watching the World Baseball Classic, it sure makes you appreciate the talent of the players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuala and Puerto Rico; those lineups are power laden…would be interesting to see what would happen if the Mike Trouts and Bryce Harpers of the USA decided to compete.  I think it would take the tournament to another level!!
  • Celebrating mom’s 92nd birthday tomorrow…her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will all be here!!
    family
  • This brief moment of clarity, in a life so filled with angst and confusion, has given an incredible insight into so much of what I have to be grateful for; though always aware of the good fortune I have in life…there is a real sense today of what all that means.
  • In all my years of being a New York Yankees fan, I have never seen them have a good spring training…I would attribute that to George Steinbrenner and his boys signing star players in their 30’s who take their time to get ready for the season and the Yankees ending up with a poor spring training record.  I looked at the exhibition game standing yesterday, and low and behold there are the Yankees with the best record.  With so many young kids in the lineup trying to prove themselves: Sanchez, Byrd, Judge, etc, suddenly the Yankees are winning games and shining a light on a bright future.  If the Yankees had more depth at starting pitching, they might compete this upcoming season!!
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  • Once again, I love the team that Goldeyes skipper Rick Forney is putting together; I’ve mentioned this a few times, but with each season, it seems like Rick is signing higher calibre players.  I’m sure his connections to organizations have increased dramatically over the years and he is able to sign the type of player that he is looking for…training camp can’t start soon enough!!
  • Doofus head meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel; she with a PHD in Physics, he just finishing reading Dick and Jane; the misogynistic, serial liar makes more unfounded claims about wiretapping, but ups it one more by claiming that Merkel was also wiretapped; she looks at the media with a “who the fuck is this bozo?” kinda look:
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  • There is always one benefit to the Jets not making the playoffs; I budget money all season for possible playoff tickets.  Once it became clear that playoffs were not in the picture for this spring…I went ahead and booked “my cabin” in Falcon lake for five days in May…filled with such gratitude that I am in a position to take another holiday this spring:

A glimpse into the future; Jets firing on all cylinders!! Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

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Another big win by the Jets; 6-1 over Colorado!!

Let’s stay in reality and state that it is going to be difficult for the 2016/2017 Jets to make the playoffs.  They are right in the battle for the final playoff spots, but an overwhelming amount of injuries early in the season and a brutal November schedule has left the team in a precarious playoff position.

That being said…the past two games may have given Jets fans a tantalizing glimpse into what the future holds for this very young team.  Friday night against the St. Louis Blues, the Jets put on a defensive clinic, shutting down a very good team.  That was followed last night by an offensive outburst by the Jets exciting forwards.

We have been told for six years now that patience is the key to the draft and develop formula.  At times fans have been frustrated, mad and upset with this plan.  I for one understand and recognize that a small market team like Winnipeg has no choice but to rely on the draft and develop…we can’t be like the Rangers and Hawks and Leafs and just sign anybody.  We have to draft well, develop the young talented players and trust that the team can sign these players long term once they become NHL players. (hello Jacob Trouba).  I get frustrated, very, very frustrated when the young kids make mistakes…but, that is all part of this plan.

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Wheels coaching up Laine.

Then we have nights like the past two nights and perhaps we are seeing the window opening to the future of the Winnipeg Jets.  Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrisey; Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Nic Ehlers, Adam Lowrey, Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Conner Hellybucyk…and those are just the kids.  Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Matthieu Perrault, Dustin Byfuglian, Toby Enstrom all showing their young team mates how to play the game.

It’s tantalizing, it’s exciting after watching the Jets the last two games!!  I dare say, our first two lines are right up there with the best in the NHL  Though we were playing a rather uninspired Colorado team, our big guns showed us what lies ahead; this goal sums it all up:  Ehlers makes a great pass to Laine who draws everyone to him and makes a sensational pass to Scheifelle:

https://www.nhl.com/jets/video/scheifele-finishes-laines-dish/c-49996003

It’s hard not being excited about the future of this team; I’ll repeat, we may not make the playoffs this season, but, the future IS VERY bright…and perhaps with the addition of Kyle Conner and Jack Roslovic next season, the Jets could be a dominant force in the NHL.

That’s the future, right now the Jets have 16 games left; they have to take care of their own business and no matter who their opponent is, they have to play their A game, night in and night out to stay in the playoff hunt.  Anything is possible at this point!!

****Unobjectively, I would select Patrik Laine 8 days a week over that guy in Toronto, it’s not even close!!  That was a franchise changing pick for the Winnipeg Jets!!****

Jets Stanley Cup

Saturday morning random thoughts; by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

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There’s still a chance boys…17 more games!!  Just win baby, just win.

  • So you’re saying there’s still a chance; last night’s Jets game gave us a brief glimpse into what the Jets future looks like.  Sure we may not may the playoffs this year…but having talented players like Scheif, Troubs, Morrisey, Laine, Ehlers, Lowrey, Copp and Dano…the future is bright.  As for Hellybucyk…last night was his fourth shutout of the season…the skill is there…he is still learning the mental part of the game…the future is so bright!!
  • Thank you Puerto Vallarta; what a magnificent two weeks under clear blue skies, hot sunshine, spectacular mountains, beaches and the Pacific Ocean…see you next winter.
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  • Great stopping in to see Goldeyes GM Andrew Collier and Broadcaster/media guru Steve Schuster.  Got caught up on some of the new players we’ve signed…and brought Andrew, Steve and Goldeyes skipper, Rick Forney,  championship Coheba cigars!!  Baseball is in the air.
  • The noose is tightening on Herr Trump…and as it does, he gets more and more unhinged.  I said it during the election…Russia was behind the Trump tainted win…and it’s all coming to fruition.  Trump is now starting to blame Obama for all the coverups and Russia mess…sad Donald, very sad.
  • Making America Hate Again”        North Carolina man arrested for threatening, knocking over gay couple as he said “you live in Trump Country now.”
  • Watch this video and see further evidence of Trump’s success in Making America Hate again: 
  • http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2017/02/18/rise-in-anti-semitism-in-us-tuchman-ac360.cnn

  • Jacob Trouba is becoming the #1 defence man we all expected he would evolve into…now, hopefully, Jets can lock him up long term like they did his buddy Mark Scheiffle.
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  • So many great friends down in Puerto Vallarta; must say, it was probably the most difficult time saying goodbye to everybody…They truly are wonderful people, hard working, friendly, kind and caring (Didn’t see any of the “bad ones” Donald.)
    jose
  • So Brian Pallister spends two months down in Costa Rica; comes home and immediately announces his slash and burn campaign!!  All the while accepting a 20% salary increase last year…after all somebody has to pay for his home in Costa Rica.
  • Warning to my friends in the teaching profession, especially the young ones who have just started their careers.  I experienced the same thing in the early 1980’s under the Filmon government; Filmon Fridays came in and  civil servants had to take an unpaid day off a month.  Then teacher layoffs came; I was a young teacher, with a young family…and 35 teachers were cut from the school division I was in.  Lost my job.  Be ware…the Education system is on Pallister’s hit list.
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  • Excited to take our Laine to the Jets game tonight; so blessed that I’m in a position to afford so many tix and have two wonderful grandchildren who are huge Jets fans.  Pretty sweet.
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  • There is a 100% correlation between getting older and the degree to which I can not tolerate winter.
  • Two years in a row I’ve had blogs I’ve written about Puerto Vallarta picked up by PV online websites and official twitter accounts.  Pretty great feeling.
  • The Sierra Madre Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, the beautiful beaches, the hot sunshine…all inspire great workouts and clarity in writing.

From the beaches of Puerto Vallarta; Friday afternoon random thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

©Chuck Duboff

  • It’s a hit the pool every ten minutes kinda hot today…lots of water today.
  • Watched Manchester by the Sea…though a slow pace, Casey Affleck was tremendous.
  • Amazing watching how very hard the staff in this resort works; never see anybody sluffing off.
    necklaces
  • It really is great getting to know so many people from all around the world…my friend Jose Martinez and his son Hector are pretty awesome guys to hang out with.
    jose
  • Jets fans can’t concern themselves with what all the other teams are doing during the one week break; it’s out of their hands now…and when they get back to playing, whatever there situation is…they just gotta Win Baby!!!
  • Those long runs in the morn on the sand are so fantastic…the legs are heart are working so hard; and when the run finishes it is an absolutely euphoric feeling.  That’s followed with a great workout in the gym…this environment is so inspiring for workouts and writing.
  • More often than not, reality checks are needed…if not, things go out of kilter really quickly.
  • One of the many good things to go home to is baseball; going to start setting up my Fantasy Teams, ordering MLB TV and writing my Winnipeg Goldeyes and MLB baseball blogs.
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  • Have tried staying away from politics these past two weeks…the moment Herr Trumps name is mentioned…I either walk away or try and change the subject.
  • So very cool that yesterday’s blog got recognized by the Puerto Vallarta twitter account and tourism bureau…that’s two years in a row.
  • Had a major reality check an hour ago…glad I paid attention before it became out of hand.
  • It’s been fun having different bands selected each day for listening by the pool; it was Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Neil Young today…pretty, pretty coolcropped-img_90211.jpg
  • Speaking of pretty, pretty cool..great seeing Curb Your Enthusiasm doing at least one more season…Larry David is priceless.
  • Puerto Vallarta…muchos gracias; though I still have four more full days after today, it’s been great, yet again.
  • Sometimes its just so very hard understanding people…just better to let go and not let it upset you.
  • My favourite view down here in PV; the Sierra Madre mountains just take my breath away.
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Call for Paul Maurice: it’s go time!!…by Geoff Brookes.

 

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© Geoff Brookes

The Winnipeg Jets missed a turn on the runway. The wheels are stuck in a rut. The thin layer of soft topsoil has given way to the thick  prairie gumbo, and they ain’t moving nowhere, nohow. The service vehicles are on their way over the apron, with the flashing yellow lights, and their horns blowing.

Jets fans are “on board”, but they’re worried. Their mood is getting surly. They’re confused. They’re wondering if the captain is in full control of the plane. They’re wondering if coach Paul Maurice is getting through to the players.

Well, is he? And how exactly is he doing that? Is he just spinning wheels, or does he have a plan to fix the situation?

In this modern age, with no-trade clauses and guaranteed contracts, we’ve seen some fairly clear indications that, if it isn’t a contract year, the players are shockingly hard of hearing. “What’s that, coach”?

Just about the only leverage that an NHL coach has, these days, is playing time.

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Dustin Byfuglien is a conundrum.  He is a very good hockey player, overall. He generates lots of offense when he is on the ice. But he often takes chances that result in high-quality scoring opportunities for the opposition.

His contribution to the team is still positive, but it could be better. The number of risky plays – often at strategically bad moments in a game – is greater than it was for the past two years. The Winnipeg Jets are among the better scoring teams in the NHL, but among the very worst for goals allowed.

If the Jets are going to win enough hockey games to make the playoffs, Dustin Byfuglien has to play more cautiously, electing to make the safe plays far more often than he has this year.

Does Paul Maurice know this? Of course he does. Every hockey commentator says it. So why is PoMo having trouble getting Big Buff to put this into effect?

Dustin Byfuglien leads all Jets defensemen in ice time – by a lot. He even has 10% more minutes (at even strength) than the guy that plays on his left, Josh Morrissey. Think about that for a moment.

So, let’s recap this. The guy that you apparently want to modify the way he is playing the game, gets way more ice time than anyone else. And playing time is your main way to motivate the players….

Meanwhile, the guy that has been the killer stud on defense, Jacob Trouba, has publicly said that he wants more ice time. Is there room for some tactical coaching moves?

The Jets have been criticized by many for overplaying their young goalies this year, without a veteran presence. And yet they are apparently underplaying their young defenseman, Jacob Trouba.

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I’m not a fan of radical solutions. I’m not saying that Paul Maurice should cut Buff’s minutes by 30%. But the statistics don’t support any assertion that Paul Maurice is using Byfuglien’s ice time to make any coaching points. And he should be.

As for the argument that the Jets are just young, and we need to allow for that, it has been pointed out by some smart sports people that the youngest team in the league is actually the Columbus Blue Jackets, and we all know what kind of a season they are having. And how good they are at keeping the puck out of their own net.

The time for excuses is over. Sorry. Done. Time’s up.

It’s go time.

There is a reason why they call the guy behind the bench “coach”. It’s time for Paul Maurice to show that he is indeed a winning coach in the NHL.

 

“Going back to Winnipeg for me is something phenomenal”; interview with Winnipeg Goldeyes pitcher, Victor Capellan…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

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As a long time fan of the Winnipeg Goldeyes, I have always found it so interesting getting to know the players.  I recently interviewed one of the key members of the Goldeyes bullpen, Victor Capellan.  I have kept Victor’s answers as he wrote them; please keep in mind that English is Victor’s second language…

I asked Victor to share his thought on the Goldeyes playoff run and the night they won the American Association Championship:

Victor:  First playoff are something incredible are the most beautiful moment that has this sport in my career as a professional and I was in four serious championship of those won my two rings.  The night of the championship was something unforgettable because each championship each match is different but that night we saw it result of all the effort of all the regular season that in each match we deliver everything in him pitch.

I inquired about where he grew up and who is favourite ballplayer was while growing up?

Victor:  I was born in Montecristo, Dominican Republic and right now I’m living in Pennsylvania. My favourite player is Pedro Martinez is my favourite player for the way he focuses on each match as well as his way of dealing with people on and off the field.  If I wasn’t playing baseball, I would be working in agriculture.

I asked Victor why he decided to come back to Winnipeg for a second season?

Victor:   Going back to Winnipeg for is something phenomenal I love everything that you live in it stadium fans are amazing.  My message that I would like to tell the fans of Winnipeg is that they follow apollanfo to our team that we will always give the best of us on and off the pitch we go with him myself in this season

When I asked Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth about Victor’s contribution to the team, this was his response:

Tom Vaeth:  Well Victor was very instrumental, very reminiscent of the role Brian Beuning played in 2012. It sets your mind at ease as a coaching staff that you have someone you trust to take the ball, whether you’re a run down, even or ahead late in the game like we did with Victor and know that he is going to get the job done for you.

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It’s great watching manager Rick Forney and Tom Vaeth put together the 2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes roster.  Watch for further interviews with 2017 Goldeyes players.

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts..by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Winnipegers wake up to a wind chill of (only) -29 degrees today and start dancing in the streets.
  • Four blizzards, temperatures in the -40’s and the city just keeps on truckin’…businesses don’t close, city schools don’t close, we just toughen up and once again survive winter.snow-6
  • What’s to be said about the Winnipeg Jets? They appear to be in free fall, goaltending is horrendous and the team seems to be shutting out Coach Maurice.  When Dustin Byfuglien responds to a question about something Coach Maurice said: “He can say whatever he wants.”…you know there’s trouble in River City.  Third period in Buffalo, embarrassment against the Habs, first period against Arizona…that is coaching!!!
  • “I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created.” Donald Trump…whose ego knows no limits.
  • “I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president,” John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, told NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
  • “Your organization is terrible and I am not going to give you a question.  You are fake news.”  Trump bullying and attempting to intimidate Jim Acosta of CNN.  Watching this, I could not believe that this man is going to be the President of the USA.  N0 class, no decorum,  an inability to speak anything truthful…you reap what you sow and for the American people who voted for Trump…I hope it is becoming crystal clear what your vote has spawned.
  • Trump
  • Meanwhile…down in Costa Rica, Manitoba’s guest Premier continues to enjoy the hot sun and beaches, while blizzards and -40 temperatures paralyze the province he laughingly governs….For those Manitobans who voted for Pallister…I hope it is becoming crystal clear what your vote has spawned.
  • I enjoy watching the manner in which Rick Forney and Tom Vaeth are putting together the 2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes.  Already returning from last year’s championship team are 3B Wes Darvell, 1B David Rohm, Ace of the pitching staff, Kevin McGovern and a key member of the Bullpen, Victor Capellan.  I would imagine it’s a lot easier getting guys to return after such a great season.  One area Rick will have to concentrate on is finding a couple of catchers as both Carlton Tanage (retirement) and Tanner Murphy (signed by the Rockies) won’t be returning.
  • After the first period…Arizona 4, Jets 1…really?  Conner Hellybucyk pulled once again, only ten minutes into the game after letting in 3 more soft goals.  Where do the Jets turn now for goaltending?  Not bringing in a veteran goalie only signals to the team and fan base that playoffs are not a high priority, that this is, yet again, another development season, and I for one am getting tired of this plodding draft and develop plan.
  • Watch for interviews in the next few days with Goldeyes pitchers, Kevin McGovern and Victor Capellan.
  • The manner in which Russia was involved in the American election, strikes to the very foundation of a democracy.  The Russians planned for four years getting Trump elected and the tearing down of Hilary Clinton.  It would not shock me in the slightest if Putin were to unload all of the Trump connections to Russia and throw America into a nightmare scenario.  If you’ve never seen the movie The Manchurian Candidate, check it out, because we are living that today.trump-putin-1024
  • Only 30 more days until the hot, sunny beaches of Puerto Vallarta…not that I’m counting or anything…but, one more blizzard and I think I’ll just start walking there today!!
  • The class, the dignity, the lack of any scandals, the respect shown to the presidency…Barak Obama and his wife and daughters will be missed.  They stand in stark contrast to the three ring circus which is taking over the White House.
  • obama-family-portrait-sasha-malia-today-tease-150619_1ddba0ae3952682d6bae521d01abca3dPatrik Laine surprising an 8 year old boy celebrating is birthday…speaks to the wonderful manner in which he was raised.  The kid is all class and has surely embraced his new home of Winnipeg.  It has helped tremendously that his mother, sister and girlfriend all moved here to Winnipeg…having their support and guidance will help Patrik to continue to hold the great values which he demonstrates.laine-and-8-year-old
  • Memo to Kevin Cheveldayoff..your conservative, plodding manner is beginning to really wear down loyal Jets fans; you “may” have an ability to select first round players, but your disdain for change is irritating and resulting in a team showing no visible signs of  improvement; as I said the other day in the blog, this team’s record is no better than the team you inherited in the first season of Jets 2.0  Nothing changes if nothing changes!!!  You don’t have a goalie…that’s a fact, yet you do nothing about it.  You waited one year too long with Claude Noel and another year was wasted.  Watching the manner in which the Jets played the third period against Buffalo, the Montreal game and then last night’s first period…standing pat is not acceptable!!!
  • Pitchers and catchers report in 30 days!!!!baseballs1280_wtn64plk_pdi9e3wm
  • Off to watch Laine play soccer this morning and then Ben play hockey tomorrow afternoon…I know for a fact that these kids give it 100%, all the time!!

Saturday Morning Frigid Random Thoughts; by Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

  • Waking up to a Wind Chill of -41 freakin degrees!!
  • Why mom, oh why, when escaping Russia in the early 1900’s did some of your family go to Philadelphia, while for some inexplicable reason, the rest of the family moved to Winnipeg!!!  Then again, we’d be looking forward to President Trump…I guess handling -41 wind chill is more tolerable than the thought of Herr Trump.
  • Had just a great time with Carly, our Laine and Ben at the Jets Skills Competition last night!!  What a fun time…and seeing the expressions on the kids faces is pricelss.
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  • That kid Laine…hit all four corners of the accuracy shooting in just over 8 seconds…he makes everything looks so easy.
  • That would be 11 now…hard work, but getting to the goal!!
  • Well, Matha Ticklebottom got me again…
  • fool-me-once
  • I guess Trumps idea of draining the swamp in Washington meant to fill all his cabinet positions with billionaire white men whose philosophies are right out of the 1950’s.
  • Vladamir Putin has Trump so deep in his pocket that he will be calling all the shots on American policy around the world.
  • MRI results on Wednesday…what a relief, blessing, lesson.  The lesson which the Big Guy has now tried to teach me in powerful ways twice this year…2016…living in the moment and not dwelling on what was and what will be.  The anticipation of the results from the MRI had me imagining every possible outcome…relief and blessed.
  • Nice first signing by the Goldeyes.  Wes Darvill, a Canadian boy from BC, played a solid 3B last season and his bat only got better as the season went along.
  • It’s a Beatles, Jethro Tull music listening season…always has been.
  • Breaking Bad…Walter White and Jesse Pinkman…my all time favourite show; watching the full series for the third time now!!  Great writing, plot, character development, setting..
  • Congrats to my pal Al Bryski on the publishing of his first book, Saskatchewan Farm Boy.  You can pick up a copy of his book at McNally Robinson Book Store for $19.95
  • Nice to see the Goldeyes and Jets making life just a little better for those less fortunate…I know the Bombers are also great at helping out around the city.
  •  The provincial NDP is in such a mess…making Brian Pallister look good.
  • Watch out for Kevin O’Leary folks…watch out…it can happen here too.
  • Nice chat with Winnipeg Goldeyes ace from last season, Kevin McGovern.
  • A Very Special Thank You to Clara Hughes who is very open is talking about the struggles she faces with Depression.  An Olympic champion and inspiration for so many…she has given me the strength and courage to talk about the effect that Depression has on my life.  Thank you Clara…have a peaceful day.
    clara huges
  • 66, 520 views of this Blog since its inception almost three years ago; and 1,244 followers who receive this blog everyday in their e-mail.  So very humbling, but also very inspiring.
  • Workouts have been fantastic the last few weeks…first 30-40 minutes on the weights and then 30-40 minutes on either treadmill or bike.
  • So very sad about Alan Thicke…really enjoyed pretty much everything he did.
  • The Goldeyes players, management and staff all received their championship rings this past week…what a great season the team had.
    15542454_10154681030246166_8480982376300981519_n

Jets surging, the plan is working; despite injuries, the team keeps winning!…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

Chevy

  • With players like Little, Perrault, Armia and Myers injured, the Jets demonstrate their incredible depth and keep on putting up W’s.
  • Nic Petan’s skating has improved dramatically; his stick handling is second to none.
  • I love the line of Lowry, Copp and Tanev; hard working, fast and skilled.  Tanev has the makings of a Gallagher, Marchand type player.  Remember this about Brandon Tanev; he was a free agent coming out of University and lots of NHL teams wanted to sign him…he chose the Jets.  Says a lot about this franchise and how its run.
    brandon-tanev.jpg
  • Having the Manitoba Moose right here in Winnipeg has paid huge dividends for this franchise; when players are needed, it doesn’t take a day and a half to get them here from St. Johns…it’s a simple walk down the hall.
  • Speaking of the Moose…Coach Maurice and Coach Vincent spent the summer designing systems to be employed this season; it is quite apparent that Vincent is doing a great job of coaching, as any Moose player who is called up to the big club is seamlessly fitting in.
  • Mark Scheifele has always said he wants to be one of the best in the NHL; his work ethic, training and love of the game is paying off, as he is now leading the league in points…and only getting better.
    cropped-scheif-outdoors.jpg
  • Really, really impressed with the play of Josh Morrisey…ability is one thing, but his smarts and confidence level having him playing great hockey.
  • Though he doesn’t have any goals yet, the Big Man, Dustin Byfuglien, sure looks like he is having fun.
  • Jets couldn’t have picked anyone better to be their captain.  Blake Wheeler demonstrates leadership on every shift, and is a great role model for the younger players.
    wheeler
  • So, if you’re Coach Maurice and you have Bryan Little, Matthieu Perrault, Joel Armia, Shawn Mathias, Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers all coming back at some point…who do you sit?  I guess that’s why he makes the big bucks…I have no idea.
  • I don’t think Drew Stafford can play at the pace the Jets do…he may be a good depth player or trade bait at the deadline.
  • Burmi has been given all sorts of opportunities to play and still is not producing…I would suggest he’ll be one of the players in the press box when the injured crew comes back.
  • Great seeing Connor Helleybucyk taking charge.  With each game he plays, his confidence level grows and we are starting to see the goaltender we expected.
  • Patrik Laine…I think the kid has a future in the NHL.  12 goals in 18 games, pretty, pretty, good.
  • Nikolai Ehlers is so incredibly fast and has great vision with the puck.
    Kids with Nick Ehlers
  • Given a chance to play regularly, Paul Postma has not looked out of place.
  • Coach Maurice was asked what message he would send to his players as they head out on a 5 game road trip: “Bring a lot of underwear!!”
  • The plan…as Chicago has done on their long run of playoff and Stanley Cup victories.  The Jets have finally accumulated a significant amount of “talented depth” so that players are called up from the Moose, they know they may only have shot to impress…so they are playing at 100% all the time.  In fact, I would suggest the Jets are playing even better with the kids right now than they were when all the injured veterans were in the lineup.   Chevy has been a master at accumulating high end draft picks…the Kane and Ladd trades stock piled the Jets with talented players (Myers, Armia, Dano, Roslovic, Lemieux, etc) and draft picks.  He has stuck to his plan and not panicked.
    Myers
  • Really impressed with Jacob Trouba’s game; playing significant minutes and playing very well.  He’s on a two year cap friendly deal now and I’m certain he’s determined to get “the big contract” at the end of the two years.  If he plays at this level, he will have earned it!!
  • The Big Man sure enjoys playing hockey…you’ve gotta watch this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41jevfgLMVs
  • Five game road trip: lets come home with at least 6 out of 10 points…no reason they can’t.

The last baseball blog of the season (Cubs edition)…written so as to avoid another election rant!! …Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Holy Cow…the Cubs win the World Series!!!!
  • Anthony Rizzo, you are now my favourite ballplayer “I’m an emotional wreck.”

    riz

    Anthony Rizzo

  • 5 million Cubs fans celebrating at the World Series parade!!  How very cool.
  • I guess baseball isn’t the dying sport NFL big whigs wanna claim it is…in fact, I would suggest that it is the NFL, the no fun league, which is in big trouble.
  • So happy for long suffering Cubbies fans…I’ve been around a long time and I’ve never seen a Cubs championship…they’ve always been my NL team…very cool to enjoy.
  • You’ve gotta watch this video: Rizzo, Ross, Fowler and Mr. Cub, Bill Murray singing
  • Go Cubs Go:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og_oKpMfvoA

  • Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo, Randy Hundly, Leo Durorcher, Ryne Sandburg…all smiling today.
  • Some guy in Winnipeg named Craig…I wonder if he has stopped smiling; like I told you  all season pal, just take it one game at a time and it’ll happen.
  • For Winnipeg baseball fans: between the Goldeyes winning the AA Championship and then some great MLB playoff baseball…we were treated to a fall to remember.
  • Harry Caray singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”…how sweet it is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNwVRdg-1nc

  • So, the baseball season is over and I would suggest it’s never been healthier…fans are rediscovering the pure joy of the game.
  •  On a personal note, writing baseball blogs all season has been something I’ll always treasure.  From the time I was a little boy cheering for Mantle and Maris and the Yankees, I’ve always dreamed of writing about baseball…and thanks to a couple of very special people with the Goldeyes, you helped to make that dream come true.  Andrew and Steve…you guys both said: “sure” many times this summer…and for that, I can’t thank you enough.

No paper today…here’s some reading with Sunday morning random thoughts..by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Joel Armia has been an incredible revelation for the Jets and maybe the best player in that blockbuster trade with Buffalo.

    HKN Avalanche Jets 20160118

    Joel Armia

  • I’m Canadian and not personally invested in the American election, but the political junkie in me can barely stomach this ugly election anymore.
  • Day 1 out of 109…feels great and highly motivated.
  • I said at the start of the World Series that I’m 60/40 pulling for Cleveland…I’ve always seen Cleveland as the Winnipeg of the United States…from not winning championships to always having jokes made about them.  Well, the Cavaliers won this season, they’ve got the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame there…now it’s time for the Cleveland baseball team to join in the fun!!  We’ve got a Winnipeg Goldeyes Championship, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights….time for the Bombers or Jets to chip in.
  • It’s been a very long time for both the Cubbies and the Indians…both can’t win:cleveland-world-series
  • So very, very, very cool watching Laine at a soccer clinic yesterday morning led by Desiree Scott of Canada’s National Women’s team.  Scott herself had been a Kidsport participant and it’s great to see her giving back to the community.

    laine-and-des

    Our big girl Laine and Winnipeger and Canadian National Soccer team player, Desiree Scott

  • To paraphrase the ol’ professor, Mickey Steen…the Bombers stunk the joint out yesterday.  Such a crucial game and they were just terrible.
  • Some people just aren’t worth the time and effort.
  • I would say that #29 for the Jets, Patrik Laine, has a chance to be a pretty decent player!!  Ovechkin: “he has a chance to score 50/60 goals” Elliot Freedman: “Hockey people are comparing him to Ovechkin, Kovulchuk and Bossy.”
  • Winning that Lottery Ball second overall pick was franchise changing!!14591597_10154380773080783_6491552696864755528_n
  • “Mexicans are murderers and rapists” “Ban all Muslims from coming into the States” “I grab them by the p****s and just kiss them”  “I don’t need to show my tax return”…Lose a Billion dollars in one year…don’t pay any taxes…have 12 women accuse you of groping them…run a scam with Trump University…claim you’ll bring jobs back to the US after using Chinese steel for your hotels…and this person is actually running for the presidency???   Really?
  • I used to be so into the NFL and now it is almost completely off the radar…more than any other reason, it is the never ending commercials on TV which have driven me away…there is no flow to the game and every time they go to commercial I just lose more and more interest.
  • Textbook case in how to ruin a player’s career: Jacob Trouba!!  Allowing his dad and agent to control things like he is…is ruining Trouba’s career.  I always liked the kid, but he has zero leverage for seven years and to come out demanding a trade and then being told he doesn’t want to play in Canada…good luck with that Jacob…if it was me, I’d have him sit for the seven years the Jets have him under control…Jets have to send a message to future RFA’s that this kind of garbage won’t be tolerated.jacob-trouba-winnipeg-jets
  • There is a 100% correlation: the older I get the more I hate, yes hate, winter!!
  • The Winnipeg Free Press…you used to be such a pleasure to read…now all you are is 24 hours old news and poorly written and edited stories; so sad to watch.
  • Hey Andrew: that Goldeyes mug that I used on our championship playoff run…now 2 for 2 with the Jets…just sayin!!!
  • Watching how very much Ben and Laine love reading is so wonderful…here’s Ben at 7:00 in the morning reading a Babe Ruth biography…takes great parenting to instil a love of reading!!14632921_10157564638125580_92702574251880207_n
  • Couldn’t be prouder of Matt and the determination he showed…I know you’ll be great with your new job at the West End Cultural Centre.

Winnipeg Jets 2016/17 preview; it all starts tonight!! Do we make the playoffs? by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

“I expect us to be really really exciting and always working hard.” Paul Maurice

“You have to do everything at full speed, all the time.”  Patrick Laine.

The Winnipeg Jets are heading into the 2016-2017 with more excitement than they have had since the move back to Winnipeg from Atlanta.  Adding players like Patrick Laine, Kyle Conner, Josh Morrisey, Conner Hellebucyk, Brandon Tanev to the roster, along with sophomores Nic Ehlers, Joel Armia and Michael Hutchinson, has Jets fans more optimistic than they ever have been.  Augmenting this great young talent with players like Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien, Bryan Little, Tyler Myers,  Drew Stafford and Matthew Perrault has everyone talking playoffs (even a long run, perhaps)

mathieu-perreaultThe excitement around the team this season is tangible; everyone is so excited about the possibilities…however, I’d suggest that everyone temper that enthusiasm just a little. I think the success of this team is dependant upon two major factors:

a) How long will it take the kids to adapt to the NHL game?

There is a unanimous consensus amongst hockey people. that Patrick Laine is a talent; watching video of him certainly demonstrates his talent.  However, watching him closely in preseason, you could see that he was struggling to find his game, to adapt to smaller rinks and a more physical game.  Much like Nic Ehlers, who struggled out of the gate last season…Laine will find his game.  Kyle Conner, Brandon Tanev and Josh Morrisey all had great training camps…Conner, the sniper, Tanev, the energy and Morrisey playing a smart defence.  Will they be able to continue this into the regular season?  I think under the coaching of Paul Maurice, they will come around sooner, rather than later…their maturation will be a key factor in how well the Jets do this season.

b)  Can Michael Hutchinson and Conner Hellebucyk give the Jets the goaltending that they need to get into the playoffs?

Let me preface my comments about the goaltending with a personal comment about Ondrej Pavalec.  Pav came under so much scrutiny and criticism these past five years…at times warranted, while at other teams he provided the team with great goaltending.  As much as management wanted him to be the man, he could never take it to another level and that left Jets fans frustrated…and they took out their anger out on Pav.  This past Monday, Pav and his $4 million contract were put on waivers; Pav wasn’t claimed and was sent down to the Moose.  He has handled it with the utmost professionalism:  “I was expecting something to happen.”  He hasn’t complained or uttered a single negative word about his demotion.  That is class…good luck to you Pav.

Hellebucyk and Hutchinson now have their opportunity to be a number 1 goalie in the NHL; no longer is Pav sitting in the wings.  I would suggest that this will take some pressure off of both goalies, while at the same time there will be that knowledge that this is their team.  I’m excited about both; I’ve always liked Hutch and given regular playing time, I think he can do the job.  It’s Hellebucyk that everybody is excited about…can he be the great goaltender we’ve been waiting for: “I’m not satisfied just making the team, I want to win a Stanley Cup here.”  I love that attitude!!  He has been great at every level he has played at and during a stretch last season we got to see the talent that everybody talks about.  Knowing that they are now the Jets goalies for this season will take their confidence to another level…I see both goalies being given an equal shot early in the season, but by the end of November, early December, I can see Hellebucyk being the man!


The rest of the team:

Wheeler, Scheif and Ehlers will pick up where they left off last season and be a dynamic unit.  Of the three, I can’t wait to see the next level that Scheifele will take his game to.  Little with Mathias and Stafford has possibilities, that could be one of those hard working, productive lines.  Putting Matthieu Perrault between Laine and Conner is smart; he is a talented playmaker and has the speed to keep up with the two young kids.  As for the fourth line, so far it looks like Brandon Tanev, Joel Armia and Adam Lowrey…I think that line will be a work in progress; there are a lot of forwards down with the Moose who are knocking on the door.  I was very surprised to see Andrew Copp sent down, but from what I’ve heard and read, it sounds like the Jets want him to work on his offensive game while with the Moose.  Players like Copp, de Leo, Petan are just a walk down the hall from being called up…nice to see this kind of depth up front.

wheeler

The defence carries a lot of uncertainty.  The continued holdout/contract situation with Jacob Trouba has left a big hole on the Jets defence.  It would seem that Josh Morrisey has his game at the NHL level…it would have been great for the Jets to have had both Trouba and Morrisey on the defence, along with the big three of Buff, Myers and Enstrom; however, because of the Trouba absence, we are left with a 5/6 pairing of Chairot and Stuart.  Many were hoping that Stuart would just be an extra piece this season…but, it looks like he will be on a regular rotation.  If Trouba is moved, here’s hoping we get a top four left handed shooting d-man…otherwise our defence could be a problem.

tyler-myers-nhl-winnipeg-jets-nashville-predators-850x560
Coach Paul Maurice is the perfect fit for the way this team is made up this season.  He has patience and will give the kids a chance to grow. Will the fans be patient?  Will the media jump all over the kids if they struggle out of the gate?

Patience has been the Mantra for this team the past five seasons; it was a different kind of patience early on…”we need time to draft and develop the kids”…now the patience is more short term, with an exciting future just around the corner.  I can see the team struggling the first month, month and a half…but, I also see the team getting its mojo and making the playoffs.  Yup, that’s right, I’m predicting playoffs for the Jets.

Maurice
Get ready folks, it all starts tonight.