The Winnipeg Jets in the midst of this Olympic break are a team that’s very interesting to look at as we get closer to the trade deadline. They are 2 points out of a playoff spot and have been playing great hockey since the coaching change which could be a huge advantage. The Jets could stay right where they are, and as Mike Johnson has said, getting players back like Jim Slater, Evander Kane, Paul Postma and Matt Halischuk is like making a trade to bolster their lineup at the deadline.
They could make some minor changes not necessarily impact trades but some trading for draft picks that are going to help down the road, take advantage of a team that’s going to the playoffs but maybe have a few injuries right now and need some insurance. Take for instance a player like 29 year old Adam Pardy, he’s come in and done pretty well playing 10 to 12 minutes a game taking a spot left from Grant Clitsome and Paul Postma injuries. With Dustin Byfuglien going up on forward Pardy has had to play a little more and has played fairly consistent and this could be an advantage to the Jets if they wanted to deal him.
How about teams looking to bolster their lineup for a playoff run in case of injuries? Pardy might come in pretty handy, a reliable defensive defenseman that’s big at 6’4” 220 lbs. The Jets could take advantage of that and make a deal if they wanted. With these players coming back someone’s going to have to be sent down, sat or possibly traded. It’s a great position to be in really because you’re not selling players because you have no chance to make the playoffs, you’re in the driver’s seat.
Kevin Cheveldayoff has some decisions to make, and he might wait until the off season to deal some players and with the improvement the Jets have made lately, he can sit back and let the trades come to
Pardy is a special case because his stats are pretty good for a player that has only played 238 NHL games since 2008-2009 when he got his start with the team that drafted him the Calgary Flames. At 29 years old he’s at a mature age for a defenseman even though he doesn’t have a lot of NHL experience, but maturation his huge for a defenseman. This season he has played in 38 games has no goals and 5 assists and is a plus 4 on a team whose goal differential is -7. To me that’s a pretty good reason to get a little better draft choice if you go ahead and decide to deal him. Someone on defence is going to have to sit or get sent down with Postma back, so we could see a few minor trades at the deadline.
It’s going to be a very interesting trade deadline for the Jets, because they can stay with what they have or make a move and I think with the improvement on the ice everyone will be happy. Not many predicted with 22 games left to go in the season that the Jets would be in the thick of the playoff hunt after getting moved into the toughest division in the NHL, that’s a huge improvement in one season. So, Mr. Cheveldayoff, the pressure has been lightened up a little for you and you now sit in the big chair when it comes to trades, and anything you do is going to look good on paper for now.
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