ANALYSIS: Time for some Jets games that mean something

The Jets finish their pre-season tonight in Calgary, and it’s not a moment too soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that the NHL is back and we will soon be immersed in more than 1,200 regular season hockey games — hockey games that mean something, that have some relevance. For these past few weeks, the Jets and the 31 other teams have been practising and playing games — games that for the most part have been played to fill two, maybe three, positions.

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You see, management and coaches have known (for the most part) who should be on the 23-man roster for a long time … for months!

Read more: Jets goaltender Berdin headed to Russia this season, agent says

So what’s the purpose of these pre-season games, when truly just two or three games are relevant and entertaining?

The NHL and its member clubs need to look at training camp and pre-season games. Twenty years ago, players came to camp to get in shape. Now, with this generation of players, they are never out of shape. Camp should be for coaches to implement systems and build team loyalty, not play inconsequential games in half-empty buildings.

The prospects get seen in the rookie tournaments. The veterans want the season to begin, simple as that.

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And if managers are adamant to play games, put them in Brandon, Dauphin and Flin Flon to reach more fans who can’t see games regularly. Make them cornerstones to outreach.

When you consider it will take a team more than 100 games to win the Stanley Cup, in a season that runs from October to June, it’s not unreasonable to limit the pre-season, and ensure that when the Jets and the other teams are playing, it really means something.

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