While the belief has been that like last season, the Jets would focus on acquiring a top-six center by the trade deadline, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported in the latest Insider Trading (video link) that at this point, their top priority is acquiring an impact winger. Nikolaj Ehlers remains on injured reserve and is expected to miss a few more weeks at least while Patrik Laine has struggled considerably as of late. Jack Roslovic is currently holding down a right wing spot but as a natural center, Winnipeg may prefer to have him spend more time developing at his natural position. With the contracts they still need to sign for next season, whoever they do add will almost certainly have to be a player with an expiring contract.
More from the Western Conference:
- While Vegas already has nearly $73MM in committed contracts to just 15 players for next season (with William Karlsson in need of a new deal), GM George McPhee told David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that his inclination is to not pursue rental players between now and the trade deadline. Last season, they made a big splash with the addition of Tomas Tatar in a deal that did not work out particularly well for them; given that the team is similarly structured this season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them look for depth upgrades over looking to add another expensive player.
- Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller is close to returning from his lower-body injury, GM and interim head coach Bob Murray noted to Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register. He has been out since December 9th with a sprained knee. With John Gibson injured (he did not practice on Tuesday) and Chad Johnson struggling, Miller’s return would certainly be a welcome one for an Anaheim that has been in freefall mode lately. With an expiring contract, a good showing upon his return could potentially give him some trade value although the 38-year-old has a partial no-trade clause.