The Winnipeg Jets, who operate in Manitoba, are trying to move out of Winnipeg for the rest of the season to the hockey arena in Saskatoon in order to avoid the COVID attendance restrictions implemented by their provincial government. All of this has been reported by Elliotte Friedman.

I’ll say what I think about this story. It’s extremely sketchy and borderline unethical for a team to avoid health and safety measures so brazenly like this. Especially when the implication is that season ticket holders in Winnipeg will travel to Saskatoon to watch their team. They’re just going to be moving community spread from one location to another, still infecting each other, and even worse, infecting another town all for the sake of that ticket revenue.

I’m not naive, because I know the NHL is doing the exact same thing by moving and swapping lots of Canadian teams games to the US in order to get them in with fans in the stands. I didn’t feel good about that, but this makes it so much more obvious. I hope the Saskatchewan government implements their own, previously unnecessary, attendance restriction, although knowing their conservative track record, I feel like they’d be all for it.

I don’t like what the Jets are doing right now, and I don’t like what the NHL is doing either. The Jets might be one of the smallest teams in the NHL, but Mark Chipman is worth half a billion dollars, and one of his partners is the richest man in Canada. They’re not a mom and pop store, they don’t need this brazen cash-grab. /End rant.

Various Leafs and Branches

Maple Leafs place Nick Ritchie on waivers | by: some jamoke

Could Matt Knies be Olympics bound? | by: Katya

Jack Campbell has the second highest save percentage in the NHL behind Andrei Vasilevskiy with a .939. Micah Blake McCurdy has made this great chart outlining what kinds of saves each goalie has to face, and how often they save them.

Along the x-axis is the quality of shot by expected goals. 1% is like a point shot, 40% is a grade-A chance off a rebound or something like that. The y-axis is basically how many of those shots are either allowed by the team in front of the goalie or given up by the goalie. The curves on shots faced are mostly the same, although there are some interesting differences with respect to team defense that can come out.

As you can see, Jack Campbell is pretty average in some areas of saving goals above expected, but he really makes a difference stopping both the easy shots (which is surprisingly not a common skill in NHL goalies) and some of the more higher end chances. My takeaway is that it’s the little things that go a long way.

Roberto Luongo throughout his career (which will be a lot less pronounced as this heater season Campbell is having) was similar, as a matter of fact. I’d really like to see Lundqvist’s, though.

Along with Ritchie on waivers, Riley Nash was claimed from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Arizona Coyotes. After the Yotes win last night, at least he’s not going from the league’s top team to the league’s bottom team. Only the second-worst team. The worst team is now the Montreal Canadiens.

And you probably read about this, but the New York Times is going to buy The Athletic.