Jets claim Miettinen off waivers

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:56 PM ET

The Winnipeg Jets added winger Antti Miettinen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

Miettinen, 31, started the season with Kazan Ak-Bars of the Kontinental Hockey League, picking up two goals and eight points in 20 games before he asked for his release.

During his seven seasons in the NHL, Miettinen has 89 goals and 212 points in 472 games with the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild.

“It gives Claude (Noel) a lot of versatility,” said Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. “He’s played a lot on the power play, he’s played penalty kill minutes. He’s an experienced NHL player who can come into the lineup and fit in a lot of different places.”

The Jets are working on the logistics of getting Miettinen here “as soon as possible” but it will likely be a few days before he’s able to make the trip from Finland. There’s an outside chance Mietten could arrive for Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals but he’s a more likely option for Saturday’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks.

Miettinen had 16 goals and 35 points in 73 games with the Wild last season and signed a two-year deal for $3 million on Monday with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but was subject to waivers because he started the season in Europe.

The Jets (13-12-4) are in action on Tuesday, opening a six-game homestand against the Wild, who are first overall in the NHL with a record of 20-7-3.

“The keys to our success was right from the start and from Day 1, the attitude that the guys brought to camp,” said first-year Wild head coach Mike Yeo. “The commitment they had, the determination they had to really set things right here. It’s been very enjoyable for us as a staff to come to the rink and work with these guys.

“We’ve pushed them hard, there’s no question, but they’ve responded. They’ve pushed each other and they’ve pushed themselves and it’s a group that cares very much about each other and is trying to build something here.”

Meanwhile, the Jets are looking to rebound from a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings.

“I’m not looking at it as a response type of thing,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel. “In the second and third period (against the Red Wings), we weren’t good, for whatever reason. We just need to get back to playing.

“For us, we’ve moved past that game and for me, this isn’t a response game. Let’s just play the way we know how to play. We know what we have, we know what we are. We’re going to have to be ready to go. This Wild team is organized and they play a rigid game. They don’t beat themselves.”

Jets forwards Alex Burmistrov (undisclosed), Nik Antropov (undisclosed) and Eric Fehr (shoulder) won’t be in the lineup, but Ron Hainsey (who has been out with an ankle problem) will return.

In order to activate Hainsey from injured reserve, the Jets placed defenceman Arturs Kulda on waivers.

That means the Jets will dress 11 forwards and seven defencemen.

Ondrej Pavelec gets the call in goal for the Jets, while the Wild respond with Niklas Backstrom.

The Wild will be without centre Matt Cullen (flu) but get winger Guillaume Latendresse (post-concussion syndrome) back in their lineup.

Puck drop is 7:35 p.m. at the downtown arena (TSN Jets, TSN 1290).


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