WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets ó some of them, at least ó took off for Nashville on Friday afternoon.
Some of the players heading to Music City for Saturday nightís game against the Predators are Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Ondrej Pavelec and Tobias Enstrom.
Not all will play against the Preds, but those who donít will more than likely get into the Kraft Hockeyville game on Monday in St. Johnís against the Ottawa Senators.
Another group of 20 or so players, including Dustin Byfuglien, Alexander Burmistrov, Nik Antropov, Kyle Wellwood and Jason Jaffray, will practise in Winnipeg on Saturday morning before hopping on a charter to Charlotte, N.C., for a Sunday game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Johnny Oduya is looking forward to Saturdayís contest in Nashville because he might get to finally play a game. He didnít play in Winnipeg or Columbus on Tuesday.
ďIíve been waiting. Itíll be nice to get in,Ē Oduya said. ďIt doesnít matter how much you work out and skate and practise. Itís always getting into the games and getting a feel for guys on the team you play with. Iím looking forward to it.Ē
Head coach Claude Noel will likely trim the roster after the wild weekend of action, so this will be the last chance for players to make their marks.
ďEverybody has a chance to accomplish something,Ē Noel said. ďEverybody has an opportunity to ingrain themselves in what theyíre going to be. Whether youíre going to be an existing player thatís a veteran who is used to playing 22 minutes, I might be looking at you playing 12 or 14. And one guy that plays 14, he might play 21 in my mind. Everybody has an opportunity to do something this weekend that gives me information.
ďNew guys, they have a chance to either be bubble guys or not, or close or not. But itís early in the process. Weíve got some games to go.Ē
DATE TARGETED: Winkler native Eric Fehr has finally set a date he hopes to get into the lineup after off-season shoulder surgery. The Jets forward is aiming to start playing in mid-November.
ďThe last couple of days Iíve progressed quite well,Ē Fehr said. ďIím feeling pretty confident Iím on schedule and hopefully a little bit early.Ē
LATE HITS: Noel will coach the Jets in Nashville and St. Johnís, while assistants Charlie Huddy and Pascal Vincent will share the duties in Charlotte. St. Johnís IceCaps coaches Keith McCambridge and Mark Morrison will help Noel in St. Johnís and will remain on the Rock to start the AHL teamís training camp Ö The Jets refused to make Dustin Byfuglien available for the media after Fridayís practice. No reason was given Ö Centre Aaron Gagnon remains out indefinitely, while right-winger Janne Pesonen didnít practise on Friday and is day-to-day with a lower-body problem. Pesonen might play Monday in St. Johnís.