St. John’s suits Wiebe well
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/11/2011 (4224 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Shayne Wiebe is far away from Manitoba, but he’s got a pretty good idea what the mania surrounding the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets feels like.
When the Jets were reborn, they placed their farm team in St. John’s, bringing the American Hockey League back to the Newfoundland and Labrador capital after a six-year absence.
This summer the Jets signed Wiebe, a 21-year-old Brandonite, to a minor-league contract and assigned him to St. John’s. The former Brandon Wheat Kings captain said the way East Coast fans have latched onto the IceCaps is very similar to what’s happening in Manitoba.
“The buzz is still out here about the team being back, especially now that the team is doing quite well,” said Wiebe, who is enjoying a few days off after returning from a six-game road trip. “They’re really excited out here.”
The IceCaps have sold out their first six home games, ranking fourth in the AHL in attendance at 6,288 fans per night, and the players have been getting VIP treatment. The club is also a hit on the ice, leading the overall standings with a 9-2-3-0 record and picking up 10 of a possible 12 points on their recent trip.
There’s a price to play for that success, however, and for Wiebe that’s been limited icetime as he’s gotten into only three games so far. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound left-winger hopes that in the long run, the benefits of being on a winning team will outweigh the frustration of watching more games from the press box than he’s used to.
“The first year of pro, the word is ‘Be patient,’” he said. “It’s definitely something that you have to do and get used to and it’ll pay off down the road. A winning team doesn’t just help the team, it helps everyone individually.”
When he has played, the numbers look pretty good for Wiebe so far. He has two assists in his three games and a plus-minus of +2.
“I think that I’ve done a pretty good job in the games I’ve gotten a chance in,” said Wiebe, who added the biggest adjustment has been getting used to the quick puck movement of professional hockey.
“I definitely feel like I can play in the league.”
But playing regularly in the AHL isn’t the only goal for Wiebe, who has already seen a number of teammates get called up to NHL duty in Winnipeg this season.
“We’ve got a few guys called up from our team and (Mark) Flood has been doing actually very well (with the Jets) it seems. He’s got a couple goals already and props to him, he’s doing well. We like to see that,” Wiebe said.
“It’s definitely exciting to see that knowing that hopefully one day that’s you.”
ONE-TIMERS: The IceCaps’ next opponent is a familiar one for Wiebe as St. John’s hosts the Connecticut Whale for a pair of games this weekend. Wiebe made his pro debut with the Whale in April, playing one game with the AHL club after the Wheat Kings’ season ended.