Getting to Know: Jets right winger Chris Thorburn

Mark Malinowski
Chris Thorburn. (Getty Images)

Status: Winnipeg Jets right winger.

HT: 6-foot-3 WT: 235 pounds

DOB: June 3, 1983 In: Sault Saint Marie, Ont.

First Hockey Memory: “My dad (Mark) building an outdoor rink in our backyard.”

Hockey Inspirations: “Growing up I had local guys Rico Fata and Ron Francis – both from the Soo. Obviously Ron Francis – his career speaks for itself. And just the way he worked in the community. And then Rico Fata was close in age but he was a pretty special talent growing up.”

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THN.com Roundtable: Looking back at our worst pre-season predictions

Ryan Getzlaf, Zdeno Chara, Johnny Gaudreau. (Getty Images)

The NHL season is winding down, with just about four weeks of regular-season games remaining. There is still much to be determined in the standings, but as winter turns to spring it’s hard not to look ahead to the playoffs.

But the end of the season means it’s also time to look back. We at The Hockey News make a lot of predictions during the summer and fall before the season begins. Sometimes they’re solid, sometimes they’re way off.

These are our worst pre-season predictions:

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The Hockey News Podcast: Episode 7 — Who is the team to beat in the NHL, an interview with Jets top prospect Kyle Connor

The Anaheim Ducks (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Welcome to Episode 7 of The Hockey News Podcast.

The week, the guys are talking about who the team to beat in the NHL is as the playoffs approach. We also discuss one of hockey’s most untouchable records, the San Jose Sharks new goal-celebration song, and we’re joined by Winnipeg Jets top prospect Kyle Connor. We also answer some pressing questions about Canada’s teams in the mailbag segment.

Download and subscribe on iTunes, and on Soundcloud.

[Music: Metz-Headache; LMFAO-Shot.]

Jets to host 2016 Heritage Classic, Legends game to feature Gretzky, Hawerchuk and Selanne

Jared Clinton
Winnipeg Heritage Classic logo featured

It’s official: the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers will be heading outdoors for the 2016 Heritage Classic.

At a press conference at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre Sunday afternoon, the outdoor contest was officially announced, as was an entire weekend’s worth of events. The Heritage Classic, which will take place Oct. 23, will be preceded by a Legends Game, which will be played Oct. 22 and feature some of the greatest players from the Oilers-Jets rivalry of the 1980s and 1990s.

“When we joined the NHL back in 2011, there was a lot to get done in a short period of time,” Mark Chipman, chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment, said. “We very much wanted to honor the history of the Jets back then, we were really more interested in doing so properly. As we began to think about how we could best do so, we realized that hosting a Heritage Classic and building a series of events around the game provided the most appropriate way to acknowledge the history of the Winnipeg Jets.” Read more

How Scotty Bowman got Sean Couturier on Team North America

Sean Couturier (left) and Connor McDavid  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Now Scotty Bowman did not start out as an advisor for Team North America for the World Cup of Hockey, but when one of the most decorated and brilliant hockey minds the game has ever seen offers his services, it’s probably best to accept it.

It all started when Stan Bowman, the assistant GM of the team, had a conversation about potential players with North American GM Peter Chiarelli. Bowman mentioned in passing that he had spoken to his father recently about Auston Matthews. “And (Chiarelli) said, ‘So what does your dad think?’ ” the younger Bowman recalled. “And after that conversation, he said, ‘Why don’t we just have him be part of some of the phone calls?’ Because he just pretty much sits at home every night and watches games. That’s all he does, is sit home and watch players, so he has a take on these guys.”

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Andrew Ladd returns to Blackhawks in deal with Jets

Ian Denomme
Andrew Ladd (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Six years after helping the Chicago Blackhawks end their long Stanley Cup drought, Andrew Ladd is heading back to the Windy City.

The Winnipeg Jets dealt their captain to Chicago for prospect Marko Dano, a first-round pick in 2016, and a conditional pick in 2018. The Jets also added defenseman Jay Harrison and right winger Matt Fraser to the deal, but they will head to Chicago’s AHL affiliate in Rockford.

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Jets’ Little out for season, suffered fractured vertebrae on hit from Lightning’s Stralman

Jared Clinton
Bryan Little (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

A hit during a Feb. 18 game by Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman on Jets center Bryan Little left Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice fuming and saw him ejected from the contest. Less than a week later, it seems Maurice’s anger was more than warranted given Little will be out of the lineup for the rest of the season.

Maurice announced Thursday afternoon that Little sustained “a compression fracture of his T6 vertebrae,” which is located in the mid- to lower-back, according to Maurice.

“It was a significant amount of force to cause the compression fracture,” Maurice said. “We think it’s an eight week injury. Coming off that injury, though, we would expect, because it’s stable — and again, I’m not a doctor — and it’s the big bone of your spine, that once he heals through that process, he should be ready to go.” Read more