The fight to see a playoffs game in Winnipeg for the first time since 1996 just got harder.
28-year-old defenseman Tobias Enstrom hasn’t played since Tuesday due to a mid-body injury that’s believed to be related to his back. He was initially classified as day-to-day, but now it’s being described as a week-to-week issue, according to the Winnipeg Sun.
Given that the Jets only have about a week and a half until their last game, it’s safe to say that Enstrom might not be back until the postseason. Assuming of course that the Jets can even find a way to secure a playoff spot.
“You’ve got your guys and I don’t deal with what I don’t have, you know that,” said Jets coach Claude Noel. “We’ve got a lot of options, a fair amount of guys, 10 defensemen and 11 with Toby.”
Fair enough, but Enstrom isn’t just any defenseman. He’s reached the 50-point mark in separate campaigns and has a career average of 23:29 minutes per contest.
At the same time, he’s had trouble staying healthy over the last couple of seasons. He suffered a broken collar bone in 2011-12 and missed time earlier this season with a shoulder injury.
Winnipeg has just six games left in its schedule and is two points behind the eighth place New York Rangers. To make matters worse, the Rangers have played in one less contest.
The Jets next two games will be at home against teams that no longer have a realistic shot of making the playoffs: the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes. Anything short of winning both of those matches would be a big blow to the Jets’ chances of advancing to the postseason.
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Jacob Trouba‘s agent Kurt Overhardt repeatedly shot down certain questions as “private” matters regarding a very public trade request from the Winnipeg Jets, yet his interview on TSN’s Hustler & Lawless spoke volumes about the impasse.
From the sound of things, it would be tough for the Jets to get Trouba to change course and sign a deal with the team.
Trouba seeks a spot as a top two defenseman, or at least one of a team’s top two options on the right side, something Overhardt firmly believes cannot happen in Winnipeg. He quickly deflected hypothetical scenarios regarding Dustin Byfuglien moving to the left or Tyler Myers getting bumped down the Jets’ depth chart.
“None of this is happening on a whim,” Overhardt said. ” … This has nothing to do with money.”
There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.
To the Jets credit, the club has two outstanding right shot veteran defensemen and our client simply wants the opportunity to have a greater role. As a consequence of the Jets depth on the right side, we believe it is in both parties’ best interest to facilitate a mutually advantageous trade.
The 23-year-old defenseman has to appreciate the fact that this is a one-way deal, as the Lightning blueline isn’t the easiest group to crack. (That will be especially true if James Wisniewski makes an impression with his PTO.)
Nesterov has been battling for ice time the past two seasons and was also a member of Russia’s World Cup team. It’s super-important to note that he wears No. 89, which is a little unusual for a defenseman.
It’s too early to say that MacArthur will be forced to retire after this latest injury. At the moment, the Senators were merely happy to see him at the rink receiving treatment, as Guy Boucher toldreporters.
It’s a thought echoed by Senators GM Pierre Dorion shortly after the check, noting that they’re most focused on MacArthur as a “human being.”
Many wonder if Sieloff will face repercussions – perhaps even being released – for delivering such a hit during a scrimmage, especially after just being acquired.
So far, it sounds like he isn’t getting much heat, at least beyond the initial reaction of players getting physical with him right after the check. Boucher said “we’re not pointing fingers at the young kid right now,” according to Warren.