Meech hopeful of making Jets

Derek Meech works out during Winnipeg Jets practice on Saturday. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

Derek Meech works out during Winnipeg Jets practice on Saturday. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:49 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Derek Meech has been down this road before and truth be told, it can be agonizing.

As the Winnipeg Jets brass continues to mull over their final decisions that will bring them to the opening-day roster, Meech finds himself in limbo once again, waiting to see if hes going to be among those to make the grade or be placed on waivers and wondering if hell be picked up by another team or be re-assigned to the American Hockey League.

The 27-year-old Winnipegger had a steady training camp, but the Jets have seven defencemen on one-way contracts and theres also a chance that management might believe the future could be now for Paul Postma, who had five points in four preseason games.

Its enough to make your head spin, if you let it.

Its a little nerve-racking, said Meech, who has experienced the uneasiness during his seven previous seasons in the Detroit Red Wings organization. Youve done all you can do, up to this point. Ive been happy with my camp, Ive played pretty well. The cards are in their (Jets management and coaching staff) hands right now.

Just treat it like another day. Go on with your day and whatever happens, happens. Im not going to stress about it all day and that sort of thing. Either way, however it goes youve got to keep your head up and keep going.

Meechs versatility could certainly work in his favour, as he spent part of Saturdays session playing forward something he did a few seasons ago as a member of the Red Wings.

As far as getting an opportunity to get in the lineup, its common sense it might open up a little more opportunity, said Meech. If I can be here playing forward, Ill do that too. Ill do anything. If they want me to strap on the pads (and play goal), Ill do that too.

Troy Bodie of Portage la Prairie finds himself in a similar position to Meech, but doesnt have a contract with the Jets at this point.

Bodie sat out Fridays preseason finale and finished with one goal, 14 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating in four games.

I had a good camp, said Bodie. The goal showed them Ive got more skill to my game than they thought, which over the last year has been tough to show because of my limited ice time. It was nice to get that opportunity and I appreciate it. The big highlight was just getting out there and playing. It was a good challenge and I like things like that.

Theres obviously some things Id take back, but I thought I played well. I got my chances in the lineup, got some ice time and did what I had to do. Now its just sit and wait. Its tough but thats what youve got to do.

As a guy on a tryout, its a feather in Bodies cap that hes made the decision this difficult and kept his name in the discussion.

I knew what I had to do, said Bodie. I came in, did my job and its out of my hands now.

The final member of the Manitoba trio waiting to learn his fate is rookie left-winger Jason Gregoire, who had one assist in three preseason games after signing with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in early July.

The smart money is that Gregoire starts the next phase of his career learning the pro game in the minors but hes certainly enjoying his first NHL training camp.

Every guy in this locker room has the ability to score goals and do whats needed to play here, its just having the confidence to know you can go out and do it, said Gregoire.

Every game Ive gotten a little better and I need to take that and go forward.


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