Another name to add to the pile as we gear up for next Wednesday’s trade deadline:
Stafford, the 31-year-old winger that’s spent the two-and-a-half seasons in Winnipeg, has reportedly been the subject of trade calls, per ESPN.
Stafford’s had an injury-plagued campaign, limited to just 39 games due to upper- and lower-body injuries, yet still managed to rack up 12 points while averaging just over 13 minutes per night.
It’s easy to see why teams are making calls.
Stafford has history as a productive goalscoring winger, finding the back of the net 21 times last season (with a career-high of 31 back in ’10-11). He’s got enough ability to play up and down the lineup and, what’s more, he’s about as pure a rental as they come — Stafford’s a pending UFA, in the last of a two-year deal that pays $4.35 million annually.
What’s more, the Jets are one of those “are they buyers or are they sellers?” teams.
Winnipeg is only four points back of Calgary for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but would need to leap two teams — the Flames and the Kings — to get there.
The Jets have also played 63 games, to Calgary’s 61 and Los Angeles’ 60.
In the end, Stafford’s contractual situation and the team’s glut of forwards could see him move along. In addition to all the youngsters Winnipeg already has up front, the likes of ’15 first-rounders Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic are still looking to make the leap.