Jets Journal: Brotherly Love
Four Jets players trade in for new digits including Mark Scheifele
The Winnipeg Jets took to the ice Tuesday morning for a full team practice. The first notable was newly signed Jet rookie, Mark Scheifele sporting a new number, 55, on his helmet. Along with Scheifele, Derek Meech, who has been wearing number 47, got rid of the four and now wears 7. Kendle McArdle and Aaron Gagnon, both who were not on the ice due to injury and who may start the season on the IR, have also changed digits. McArdle changed from 40 to 23 and Gagnon from 42 to 21.
Tim Stapleton and Troy Bodie were two notables on the ice for the Jets this morning as both players are waiting to find out if they will have a permanent spot on the roster. With Paul Postma being released to St. John's, that leaves Troy Bodie still searching for a contract. There was no further mentions or announcements this afternoon about the status of Bodie.
Unfortunately for Stapleton, he was forced to leave practice early as he took a shot to the face from Tobias Enstrom. The puck hit him above the eye that required immediate assistance and a handful of stitches.
One of the top lines on the ice during practice had Kyle Wellwood, Mark Scheifele and Evander Kane skating together.
"Kane has some power and size. Scheifele is a big guy, young and Wellwood is smart, doesn't have size but has intellect so I think the three of them can combine for something. Both good play-making good defensive play and some size should give you some physicality. It should fit, the chemistry should work a bit. At least you've put the pieces in place for chemistry and we'll see how it all shapes up."
The other lines looked like this:
For Scheifele, the number 55 is a tribute to his 20-year-old brother, Kyle.
"My brother wore it," said Scheifele. "He was my role model growing up, he's a couple years older than me. It was one of the numbers available so I thought maybe I'd get to share it with him a little bit. It's a little representation of him being there too. He's such a good sport to me. He helped me through hockey so much, teaching me things that he learned two years a head of time. He's one of my biggest fans too."
Kyle now studies electrical engineering at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario and no longer plays competitive hockey. Both Mark's brother and sister will be in attendance on Sunday afternoon to watch their brother proudly sport number 55 in his first NHL regular season game.
"Copying me again, eh?" is the comment Kyle joked to his brother after he was told that he was going to wear 55.
AEBISCHER TO PLAY IN ST. JOHN'S
David Aebischer has been hanging by a thread waiting patiently to find out where he will be playing hockey once the puck drops on the regular season. The 33-year-old from Fribourg, Switzerland signed a one-year, AHL contract with St. John's IceCaps. As the deadline for his Swiss-A team, Lugano was late Monday night, Aebischer had to either sign a contract or go back to Swizerland.
"It was always an option because if I didn't sign here yesterday, I would have to go back but I'm happy I had the chance to sign here." Aebischer said of the easy decision presented.
Aebischer had a good thing going in the Swiss league and could easily have continued there comfortably and played until retirement, but there was a burning flame within him that persuaded him to give it one more try at the NHL level.
"Why not, it's always fun to try things again," said Aebischer. "It's the best league in the world and I would like to play there again. I came here and didn't really know what the Jets' were looking for and I got the opportunity and took it.
"I'm going to play well and as much as I can and see what happens. There's always an option. It's the first step and I'm going to have to take the second one later on."
Aebischer has played in St. John's only once as a member of the Hershey Bears and remembers only minor details of the city. Liking seafood was one positive note for the humble goaltender.
"I've heard a couple of good things about St. John's and I'm going to find out for myself."