For most of his tenure with the Winnipeg Jets, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has been fairly passive when it comes to making trades. Even his recent Evander Kane blockbuster only happened after an alleged incident with Dustin Byfuglien.
So while the Jets’ decision to acquire forward Jiri Tlusty from Carolina on Wednesday in exchange for a third-round pick and conditional sixth rounder might be just the kind of move you would expect from a team in the hunt for a playoff spot, it is particularly noteworthy given Cheveldayoff’s history.
Cheveldayoff doesn’t want to put too much pressure on Tlusty, but he did view this as more than just a means to fill a void left by Mathieu Perreault’s significant lower-body injury.
“It is a message to the room that we’re all-in, here,” Cheveldayoff said.
The question now is if Cheveldayoff will chose to emphasize that message further by pulling the trigger on anything else. Getting Tlusty certainly helps, but the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild have bolstered their rosters as well and that’s likely just the beginning for the Jets’ rivals as we still have five days of trading left.
With a 31-20-11 record, the Jets have a four-point edge over the Minnesota Wild in the battle for a playoff spot. That being said, Winnipeg has also played in two more games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
We’ve heard a lot about what top 2015 draft prospects Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel might bring to the teams that select them, but what about the man likely to go third overall? Here’s a couple recent stories about Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin. (The Hockey News / NHL.com)
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is “intrigued by the possibility” of a Penguins-Flyers game at Beaver Stadium, but it’s not close to happening. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $50,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Seven-year-old Alyx Delaloyle, who is battling leukemia, was thrilled when the crowd as well as players from the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars cheered her during Tuesday’s game. (Winnipeg Sun)
Kings GM Dean Lombardi realizes he paid a steep price for defenseman Andrej Sekera, but given how his players have done recently and their past playoff success, Lombardi felt it was appropriate to act aggressively. (LA Kings Insider)
The Washington Capitals’ “sloppy” showing against Pittsburgh on Wednesday can trace its origins back to their morning skate. (CSN Washington)
Speaking of, here are the highlights from Pittsburgh’s 4-3 victory over Washington:
Rob Rossi doesn’t think Penguins GM Jim Rutherford should be satisfied after adding Daniel Winnik. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
The Los Angeles Kings have acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes, according to multiple reports. In return, the ‘Canes will receive a first-round draft pick (2015, as long as the Kings make the playoffs) and 19-year-old prospect Roland McKeown.
The deal should come as no surprise. With Slava Voynov suspended indefinitely, the Kings needed a d-man, as evidenced by Drew Doughty averaging 29:28 of ice time this season compared to 25:43 last year.
The Kings’ current eight-game winning streak also means they’re more likely than not to be in the playoffs — something that couldn’t be said at the beginning of the month, when the defending Stanley Cup champs dropped as low as 12th in the Western Conference.
Sekera, a 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent, has two goals and 17 assists in 57 games this season while logging an average ice time of 22:46.
McKeown, a defenseman, was the 50th overall pick in the 2014 draft. He’s currently playing junior for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.
Related: Voynov trial likely to be delayed until March 9
Jiri Tlusty has been traded to Winnipeg, with a third-round pick in 2016 and either a fifth- or sixth-round pick in 2015 going back to Carolina. (If the Jets make the playoffs, it’s a fifth-round pick. If not, sixth.)
Tlusty, 26, has 13 goals and 10 assists in 52 games for the Hurricanes this season. A pending unrestricted free agent, he fully expected he could be dealt prior to Monday’s deadline.
In Winnipeg, Tlusty figures to be a second- or third-line winger. With Mathieu Perreault out, his addition could allow Dustin Byfuglien to return to defense.
It didn’t take long for Patrick Kane’s injury to spark speculation over how the Chicago Blackhawks may use the long-term injury relief to add to their roster prior to Monday’s trade deadline.
From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
And from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:
The Blackhawks have been linked to Curtis Glencross, Andrej Sekera and Antoine Vermette, but does it make any sense to give up the assets without Kane? That’s still a really good team, but he’s been their best player.
And one more, from NHL.com’s Brian Hedger:
A major factor in all this will be Kane’s recovery timeline. What if he could be back in time for the first round of the playoffs? There’s no salary cap in the postseason, remember. So Kane’s injury could, theoretically at least, actually end up helping the Blackhawks.
Again. Theoretically. We’re pretty sure there aren’t any celebrations planned for Blackhawks HQ today. If Kane is out 10 weeks, that puts his timeline past the start of the first round (Apr. 15).
At any rate, it’s going to be extremely interesting to see how GM Stan Bowman handles this. Lots of balls in the air right now. Lots of variables to consider.
Related: PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette