Return of the captain

Brendan McCarthy
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Jets re-assign Jaffray to expanding IceCaps

Veteran forward Jason Jaffray, shown on the bench during a St. John’s IceCaps practice at Mile One Centre earlier this season, has been reassigned to the IceCaps by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets after playing 13 games with the parent team. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

The St. John’s IceCaps are getting the captain back, and it looks like he’ll be returning to a crowded ship.

The Winnipeg Jets re-assigned veteran forward Jason Jaffray to the American Hockey League’s IceCaps on Monday. The 30-year-old Jaffray had one assist and seven penalty minutes in 13 games with the Jets since being recalled from St. John’s five weeks ago. He had seven goals, five assists and a plus-five rating in 15 games with the AHL team.

In a way, Jaffray retained his IceCaps’ captaincy even after his departure, since no player wore the ‘C’ in his absence, with the duties instead spread out amongst the team’s various assistant captains.

A month ago, Jaffray’s recall was part of a huge hit on the St. John’s roster. The Jets, beset by injuries needed players from the farm team and, at various times, brought up defencemen Mark Flood, Brett Festerling, Paul Postma, and Arturs Kulda, along with rookie forward Carl Klingberg and Jaffray.

But the Winnipeg infirmary started to empty and all of the recalled players — save for Flood — have now returned to the IceCaps. In the meantime, St. John’s also received forwards Kenndal McArdle and Ben Maxwell from the Jets.

As of Monday, there were no less than 29 players on the IceCaps’ roster, including three goaltenders and injured forwards Shawn Weller and Riley Holzapfel, who weren’t with the team on a three-game road trip to New England. That would seem to mean some moves are in store when St. John’s — the AHL’s Eastern Conference leader as of Monday — resumes it’s schedule next week after an eight-day Christmas break.

Jaffray had actually cleared waivers last week, but Winnipeg didn’t officially assign him to St. John’s  until it had activated recently-acquired winger Antti Miettinen, who will make his Jets debut tonight in a game against the New York Islanders.

The IceCaps won twice and lost in a shootout on the weekend, meaning they maintain their remarkable road record (10-0-3-1), which has seen them not lose an away game in regulation. They hope to keep up that pace next week, when they take on the Bulldogs in Hamilton and the Marlies twice in Toronto before returning to Newfoundland for their first home games of 2012.

Organizations: IceCaps, Winnipeg Jets, American Hockey League

Geographic location: Winnipeg, New England, Hamilton Toronto Newfoundland

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