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Wheeler on Jets’ woes: ‘We’ve been blowing smoke for three years’

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It must get old to provide the same cliches over and over again when you’re on a losing team. Blake Wheeler finally seemed to let loose on Saturday following the Winnipeg Jets’ 6-4 loss to the Dallas Stars.

“We’ve been blowing smoke for three years, everyone, myself, everyone that’s stood in front of a microphone in the last three years, we’ve said the same [blank],” Wheeler said, via the Winnipeg Free Press’ Gary Lawless. “What do you want me to say? That’s about it. I don’t know what else to say.”

One can see why Wheeler & Co. are fuming.

The Jets have lost three games in a row, as today’s defeat put Winnipeg under .500 on the season (14-15-5). The franchise has only made the playoffs once, and that was as the Atlanta Thrashers in 2006-07.

It’s enough to make Lawless wonder about accountability.

To be fair to Wheeler, the 27-year-old is one of the team’s most dependable producers, especially lately. He’s found the net twice in each of the last two games and has eight points in his last six contests. The budding power forward hasn’t seen the postseason since he played for Boston in 2009-10.

Perhaps something dramatic – maybe a key player letting loose following a frustrating loss – is needed for the Jets to finally start turning things around?

Lazar welcomes trade to Flames

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 11: Curtis Lazar #27 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Colorado Avalanche during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on February 11, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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The Calgary Flames are gambling that Curtis Lazar isn’t a first-round bust.

The Flames acquired the 22-year-old forward from Ottawa today, along with AHL defenseman Mike Kostka. In return, the Ottawa Senators received a second-round draft pick and defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka.

Lazar has just one assist in 33 games for the Sens this season, which started with a bout with mononucleosis.

“I never really got the chance to catch my stride,” Lazar told TSN. “I’ve kind of been playing catch-up all season.”

Looking even further back, the fact Lazar made the Sens as a 19-year-old may have hurt his long-term development.

“I held my own in my first season, but I wasn’t really able to take off,” he said. “It’s kind of been stop and go my two and a half years in Ottawa. I’m looking forward to that chance where I can clear my conscience and play with some confidence against instead of just being in full-on survival mode.”

Lazar, by the way, is no longer exempt from waivers.

Related: Welcome Curtis Lazar to the trade rumor mill 

Leafs add another veteran forward, get Fehr from Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, OH - FEBRUARY 25:  Eric Fehr #16 of the Pittsburgh Penguins warms up prior to the start of the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Heinz Field on February 25, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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Toronto wanted to “reward” its young players by bringing in a veteran presence like Brian Boyle ahead of today’s deadline.

And now they’re getting rewarded again.

Eric Fehr, waived by the Penguins earlier this week, has been acquired by the Leafs along with d-man Steve Oleksy and a fourth-round pick at this year’s draft, per TSN.

Pittsburgh receives d-man Frank Corrado, and the cap/roster space to orchestrate a deal that will bring Mark Streit into the fold (more on that in a subsequent post).

Fehr, 31, is in the second of a three-year, $6 million deal with a $2M cap hit. He’s appeared in 52 games this season, scoring six goals and 11 points while averaging just under 11 minutes a night.

He was also a regular in last year’s Stanley Cup run, scoring three times in 23 games.

Though his role decreased, Fehr was still frequently used by head coach Mike Sullivan — albeit in a more limited capacity. He is a good PK contributor, and can play both center and wing.

PHT’s 2017 Trade Deadline Tracker

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Here’s the full list of deals made prior to the Wednesday, March 1 3 p.m. EST trade deadline..

Mar. 1

To Nashville: F P.A. Parenteau
To New Jersey: 6th-round draft pick (link)

To Tampa Bay: D Mark Streit
To Philadelphia: F Valtteri Filppula, ’17 4th-round pick, ’17 conditional 7th-round pick (link)

To Montreal: F Andreas Martinsen
To Colorado: F Sven Andrighetto (link)

To Columbus: D Kyle Quincey
To New Jersey: D Dalton Prout (link)

To New York Rangers: F Taylor Beck
To Edmonton Oilers: F Justin Fontaine (link)

To Tampa Bay: G Mike McKenna
To Florida: G Adam Wilcox (link)

To Los Angeles: F Jarome Iginla
To Colorado: ’18 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

To Montreal: F Dwight King
To Los Angeles: ’18 4th-round pick (link)

To Florida: F Thomas Vanek
To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick, D Dylan McIlrath (link)

To Colorado: G Joe Cannata
To Washington: D Cody Corbett (link)

To Colorado: F Brendan Ranford
To Arizona: F Joe Whitney (link)

Feb. 28

To Montreal: F Steve Ott
To Detroit: ’18 6th-round pick (link)

To San Jose: F Jannik Hansen
To Vancouver: F Nikolay Goldobin, ’17 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

To Edmonton: F David Desharnais
To Montreal: D Brandon Davidson (link)

To Chicago: D Johnny Oduya
To Dallas: F Mark McNeill, ’18 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

To New York Rangers: F Daniel Catenacci
To Buffalo: D Mat Bodie (link)

To Ottawa: F Viktor Stalberg
To Carolina: ’17 3rd-round pick (link)

To New York Rangers: D Brendan Smith
To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick, ’18 2nd-round pick (link)

Feb. 27

To Washington: D Kevin Shattenkirk, G Pheonix Copley
To St. Louis: F Zach Sanford, F Brad Malone, ’17 1st-round pick, ’19 conditional 2nd-round pick (link)

To Ottawa: F Alex Burrows
To Vancouver: F Jonathan Dahlen (link)

To Montreal: D Jordie Benn
To Dallas: D Greg Pateryn, ’17 4th-round pick (link)

To Toronto: F Brian Boyle
To Tampa Bay: F Byron Froese, ’17 2nd-round pick (link)

To Arizona: F Teemu Pulkkinen
To Minnesota: Future considerations (link)

Feb. 26

To Minnesota: F Martin Hanzal, F Ryan White, ’17 4th-round pick
To Arizona: ’17 1st-round pick, ’18 2nd-round pick, ’19 conditional 4th-round pick, F Grayson Downing (link)

To Los Angeles: G Ben Bishop, ’17 5th-round pick
To Tampa Bay: G Peter Budaj, D Erik Cernak, ’17 7th-round pick, ’17 conditional pick (link)

Feb. 24

To Anaheim: F Patrick Eaves
To Dallas: ’17 conditional 2nd-round pick (link)

To Chicago: F Tomas Jurco
To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick (link)

Feb. 23

To Pittsburgh: D Ron Hainsey
To Carolina: F Danny Kristo, ’17 2nd-round pick (link)

Feb. 20

To Calgary: D Michael Stone
To Arizona: ’18 3rd-round pick, ’18 conditional 5th-round pick (link)

Feb. 18

To Toronto: F Sergey Kalinin
To New Jersey: D Viktor Loov (link)

Feb. 15

To Washington: D Tom Gilbert
To Los Angeles: ’17 conditional 5th-round pick (link)

Feb. 4

To Nashville: F Vernon Fiddler
To New Jersey: ’17 4th-round pick (link)

Preds add some scoring, get Parenteau from Devils

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  PA Parenteau #11 of the New Jersey Devils in action against the Buffalo Sabres at the Prudential Center on November 12, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Sabres 4-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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New Jersey and Nashville got together on a trade for the second time this month, with the Preds acquiring veteran winger P.A. Parenteau in exchange for a sixth-round pick, per TSN.

Earlier, the Devils sent veteran center Vernon Fiddler to the Preds for a fourth-rounder.

Parenteau, 33, joined the Devils after getting scooped off waivers from the Isles at the start of the campaign. He’s produced well, with 14 goals and 33 points in 55 games, but there have been ups and downs in New Jersey, including a healthy scratch in mid-December.

Parenteau carries a modest $1.3 million cap hit, so it’s a minimal financial commitment for the Preds. He’s also got a bit of playoff experience — 15 games, split between Montreal and Colorado — which will help a Nashville club currently sitting third in the Central Division.