The Winnipeg Jets have the need, the need for speed. OK, Top Gun isn’t quite the inspiration behind the team’s new player of the game award, but one can’t help but think of Goose and IceMan when seeing it.
On Friday, Devin Setoguchi became the first recipient of the fighter pilot’s helmet after the Jets beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. The idea came from defenseman Mark Stuart, who got some help from True North chairman Mark Chipman.
"You've seen it all over and we wanted to get something original to our group, Winnipeg and our team, and Stewy came up with the idea to get the helmet, which I thought was great," [Andrew] Ladd reported. "We asked Chipper to see if he could help us out to find one, and sure enough he came through."
Ladd said the fighter-pilot helmet's arrival Friday was perfect timing.
"It was nice to finally have it and to implement it in our group and while we're winning some hockey games, too," Ladd said. "Hopefully we'll be able to keep passing it out.”
Here's Stuart getting the honors after Sunday's 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens:
The helmet’s arrival comes in the middle of the team’s current success since dismissing Claude Noel and installing Paul Maurice behind the bench. Since Maurice took over on Jan. 12, the Jets have won eight of 10 and are now four points off the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
It's nice and all, but it's still no weenie hat.
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