Could Dustin Byfuglien win the Norris in half a season on defense?

Jared Clinton
byfuglien

When a rash of injuries was close to sending the Winnipeg Jets into a tailspin, coach Paul Maurice called on Dustin Byfuglien to move back to defense. Whether Maurice knew it or not, the move was the best decision he may have made in the year since he’s taken over behind the bench for the Jets.

Byfuglien, who has been moved from defense to forward and now back again throughout his career, isn’t simply excelling as a rearguard, he’s staking his claim as the Jets undisputed MVP in a season where without him all may have been lost. One could even argue he has a shot at the Norris Trophy. Read more

Teemu Selanne’s retirement ceremony will jerk your tears

Adam Proteau
Teemu Selanne stands on the ice as his banner is raised to the rafters of Anaheim's Honda Center. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

With the caliber of player and person Teemu Selanne has been over the course of a 21-season, Hall of Fame-caliber professional hockey career, you knew his jersey retirement ceremony was going to be something special. And Sunday night in Anaheim, it was exactly that, with the Ducks putting on a fitting tribute and raising to the rafters the first retired jersey in franchise history.

Before Anaheim’s game against Selanne’s former Winnipeg Jets team, the right winger’s friends, family, past teammates (including Jari Kurri, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, George Parros and many more) and dignitaries including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman were on hand to show their appreciation for him. That appreciation included a touching video tribute:

That was followed by the 44-year-old Finnish icon giving a heartfelt speech that exemplified the class and dignity with which he lived his life and treated others: Read more

The top eight Teemu Selanne moments, in honor of the Finnish Flash

Jared Clinton
Teemu Selanne (Getty Images)

Before hosting the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night, the Anaheim Ducks will honor Teemu Selanne and raise his legendary No. 8 to the rafters of the Honda Center.

It’s fitting, too, that the Jets will be in town when the Ducks pay tribute to one of the greatest players in NHL history. Selanne began his career with the previous iteration of the Winnipeg Jets, the team that eventually moved on to become the Arizona Coyotes. Those original Jets factor in on this list, as we count down the top 8 moments in the career of Teemu Selanne. Read more

Suspend him or not: Kyle Clifford levels Anthony Peluso with massive hit

Jared Clinton
(Juan Ocampo/Getty Images)

With the Winnipeg Jets leading the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 in the first period of the Saturday night tilt between the clubs, Kyle Clifford attempted to shift the momentum back in the Kings favor with a big hit. The hit, however, may land him on the sidelines.

Jets winger Anthony Peluso was carrying the puck down the left wing boards and was forced behind the goal. When he came out the other side, Clifford was there to meet him with a booming body check that sent Peluso flying. Read more

Return of Duclair and Draisaitl shakes up the Memorial Cup race

Quebec's Anthony Duclair  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

You can debate whether or not the Edmonton Oilers were right to hold rookie center Leon Draisaitl out of the world juniors, where he would have been far and away Germany’s best player. And you can debate whether or not he should have been kept up by the Oilers as long as he was before they sent him back to junior in the Western League. But the trade that sent his rights (and consequently, him) to Kelowna from Prince Albert is huge in the WHL’s arms race. Just as big as the New York Rangers sending Anthony Duclair back to the Quebec Remparts.

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The Hot List: Pavel Zacha and other prospects from the world juniors

Pavel Zacha (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

Another world junior tournament is in the books and it was a dandy, with Canada holding off the Russians 5-4 in the gold medal game. Next year, the holiday classic shifts over to Finland, where the host nation will hope to rebound from a sub-par outing in 2014. There was a ton of talent in Montreal and Toronto, so here’s a wrap of some players that caught my eye. As always, only prospects who have yet to play an NHL game were eligible.

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Still McDavid over Eichel for No. 1…and other World Junior leftovers

Denis Godla (left) and Martin Reway  (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

It was awfully nice of the Toronto Maple Leafs to hold off on firing their coach until Tuesday, and your trusty correspondent means that in all sincerity. The Maple Leafs probably knew they wanted to fire Randy Carlyle on Monday, but held off the gong show and allowed the best teenagers in the world to have the stage all to themselves without turning it into a gong show. Good on them for doing that.

The day after the night before, here are some final thoughts that never made their way from the notebook:

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With five defensemen down, how is Winnipeg going to stay competitive?

Jared Clinton
Michael Hutchinson Featured

Someone ought to ask Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff who exactly they wronged to deserve losing five of their six starting defensemen, because at this point it’s starting to get cruel.

Before Monday’s game, it was revealed that Jets blueliner Grant Clitsome would be sidelined with an undisclosed injury and that he would be on the shelf on a day-to-day basis. However, it’s believed he’ll be out for at least a week or two. Clitsome adds to a list of injured rearguards that includes Toby Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Jacob Trouba, and Mark Stuart. With so many defensemen sidelined, how will Winnipeg survive in the tough Western Conference? Read more