The Jets looked to be a team that had the cap space to make a splash in the second half of the season. However, as Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press outlines, that’s no longer the case. As a result of their injuries, Winnipeg has had to recall several players and in doing so, they’re at a spot where they’re going to need to dip in short-term LTIR if they have to bring anyone else up. All of a sudden, any ideas of making a key addition in the near future will have to be shut down until most of their regulars return. The good news for Winnipeg is that none of the injuries are season-ending but there aren’t many near-term recoveries on the horizon which isn’t ideal with nearly $25MM currently out of the lineup.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- While Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup a little more than two weeks ago, he isn’t fully healthy yet. Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that the 32-year-old is still dealing with a left ankle injury, one that may not be fully recovered until the end of the season. Despite still being banged up, Johnson has logged more than 15 minutes a night since returning and has three goals and five assists in 12 games so far this season.
- The Avalanche could have Nathan MacKinnon back in the lineup on Saturday against Toronto, relays Bennett Durando of The Denver Post. The star center has missed nearly four weeks due to an upper-body injury and while he took the skate in a non-contact jersey today, that won’t automatically preclude him from returning tomorrow. Meanwhile, forward Darren Helm was a full participant in practice for the first time today but has not yet received the green light to suit up. He has yet to play this season and underwent hip surgery last month.