Split road trip hectic for Jets coach

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:14 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Claude Noel doesn’t know if he’s coming or going these days.

Since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg so late in the spring, the Jets had to adopt their schedule in the first season. That includes the pre-season, so Noel is launching 50 or so players across the continent this weekend to play games in Nashville, Charlotte and St. John’s over the course of three days.

That makes for some hairy days.

“It’s just lists and who’s going where and post this and post that,” Noel said. “We’re like a mess back there in the morning, trying to figure out where we’re going. Not every day, but a day like today before you’re leaving? You gotta figure stuff out.”

Not only that, but it’s hard to concentrate with vacuums and drills and saws going all day in the bowels of MTS Centre, which is getting a bit of a facelift for its eighth — and most anticipated — hockey season.

“There’s so much going on in the building and so much going on that it’s a challenge,” Noel said. “We’re building two teams (Jets and St. John’s IceCaps) in 106 days, and then we’re renovating and making sure everything’s up to snuff. The fact you’ve got new players, that’s an added challenge for you.

“But that’s all good stuff. You just gotta be organized. It doesn’t help you sleep at night. You’re trying to figure out what you forgot.”

MAKING MOVES: The Jets released eight players on Thursday, sending six back to their major junior clubs.

Forwards Adam Lowry (Swift Current, WHL), Austen Brassard (Belleville, OHL) and LW Ivan Telegin (Barrie, OHL), along with defencemen Zachary Yuen (Tri-City, WHL), Kendall McFaull (Moose Jaw, WHL) and Sebastien Owuya (Medicine Hat, WHL) were all let go.

Lowry, Brassard and Yuen were drafted this year, while Telegin, McFaull and Owuya were Thrashers selections in 2010.

Forward Mike Kirkpatrick will report to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps, while winger Levko Koper was given his outright release.

AROUND THE GLASS: As of Thursday at 6 p.m., the Jets had 56 players remaining in camp … Centre Kyle Wellwood (appendectomy), defenceman Randy Jones (undisclosed) and forward David Koci (undisclosed) were all back on the ice Thursday. Wellwood will play Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., while Jones and Koci should see action this weekend as well … Oakbank’s Quinton Howden has yet to practise at Florida Panthers camp due to a neck injury.


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