Petan glad to have skating legs back after tragedy

The official scoresheet shows he had just 6:39 of ice time, registering a single takeaway to go with no points, shots, penalties, hits, blocks or giveaways. Pedestrian stuff, really.

But in reality, there’s no way to truly quantify just how meaningful Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers was for Nic Petan and his family. The Winnipeg Jets forward made his regular-season debut while trying to deal with a personal tragedy.

“To play that game meant a lot,” the soft-spoken Petan said Sunday following practice at Bell MTS Iceplex.

Petan’s father, Franc, died suddenly in Vancouver on Sept. 18. Petan immediately took a leave of absence from training camp, missing the final six pre-season games and the start of the regular season. He returned to the club in mid-October, then waited patiently for his chance to get in the lineup as he tried to catch up with his peers.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

The official scoresheet shows he had just 6:39 of ice time, registering a single takeaway to go with no points, shots, penalties, hits, blocks or giveaways. Pedestrian stuff, really.

But in reality, there’s no way to truly quantify just how meaningful Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers was for Nic Petan and his family. The Winnipeg Jets forward made his regular-season debut while trying to deal with a personal tragedy.

“To play that game meant a lot,” the soft-spoken Petan said Sunday following practice at Bell MTS Iceplex.

Petan’s father, Franc, died suddenly in Vancouver on Sept. 18. Petan immediately took a leave of absence from training camp, missing the final six pre-season games and the start of the regular season. He returned to the club in mid-October, then waited patiently for his chance to get in the lineup as he tried to catch up with his peers.

“It took about a week or so, just to get my skating legs back. But I think the last three weeks I felt back to normal,” said Petan.

Marko Dano was placed on waivers to make room for him on the roster, then promptly swooped up by the Colorado Avalanche. Kristian Vesalainen was later sent down to the Manitoba Moose. And then Jack Roslovic became a healthy scratch, creating an opening on the fourth-line with Andrew Copp and Brendan Lemieux.

“It felt great just to be back out there. Obviously things were limited and stuff. But I felt good, I felt fine. So I’m looking forward to the next one,” said Petan.

He’s likely staying in the lineup for the time being, especially with Lemieux looking at a potential suspension for a blindside hit to the head of Florida’s Vincent Trocheck in the Panthers game.

“I liked his game. I’ve liked his practices, but you gotta get him in a game. He made a couple good plays with the puck, you don’t have to grab him on the bench a whole lot anymore and re-position some of his thinking on the ice,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said Sunday.

Lemieux will have a phone hearing with the department of player safety on Monday afternoon after receiving a match penalty. Word of a suspension will likely come a few hours later.

Even if the league doesn’t lower the boom, there’s a good chance Maurice will. Lemieux’s selfish antics proved costly, as Florida scored the game-winner on the ensuing power play, after tying the game earlier in the period on another reckless Lemieux penalty.

This is an important year for Petan. The 23-year-old lit up the Western Hockey League and then the American Hockey League with the Moose but has struggled to carve out a full-time role in the NHL. He has five goals and 16 assists in 96 regular-season games with the Jets and will be a restricted free agent next summer. The time is now to prove he can remain at this level.

Petan said the past couple months have been difficult but he praised the Jets organization, his teammates and others with the support they’ve provided to his family.

“It’s nice to be back and around the guys,” said Petan. “Everyone’s been great around the room, around the league. The whole hockey community. Everything’s been good.”

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

Read full biography