In each of the last two seasons, the Jets have made big splashes at the trade deadline to bring in rental centers Paul Stastny and Kevin Hayes. If head coach Paul Maurice has his way, they’ll go with a different approach at this year’s deadline. Speaking with reporters, including Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun, Maurice indicated he’s hoping the team doesn’t part with a top young asset for someone that’s set to be unrestricted in July:
So paying a high price for a rental, I don’t know that that makes a whole lot of sense for us. If we get a guy that can come in and play maybe more than the rest of the season, you’d think about doing that.
Winnipeg’s cap situation is tricky with the uncertainty surrounding the status of injured (and suspended) defenseman Dustin Byfuglien with a grievance on the horizon. After years of playing it safe, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been more aggressive at recent deadlines but that may not be the case this time around.
More from the Central Division:
- Blackhawks prospect Ian Mitchell told Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times that his intention remains to turn pro at the end of his current college season. The 2017 second-round pick is having a strong junior season with Denver while faring well in an international stint with Canada at the Spengler Cup. If Denver’s season ends before Chicago’s does, it’s quite possible if not probable that they will opt to burn the first year of his entry-level deal in 2019-20 which would give them an intriguing youngster to use down the stretch.
- Still with the Blackhawks, center Dylan Strome has resumed skating, notes Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago. He has missed the last three weeks to an ankle injury. The 22-year-old is producing at a slightly lesser clip than he did after being acquired last season but with 10 goals and 20 assists in 40 games, he sits fifth on the team in scoring.
- Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News examines a bit of a tricky contract situation for Stars winger Denis Gurianov. While he’s in his fourth year in their system, he has just 67 NHL games under his belt though 45 of them have come this season where he ranks fourth on the team in goals with 13. There are several single-season statistical comparables for this summer when he’s a restricted free agent but since he doesn’t have anywhere near the experience that most of them do, it makes it a tougher one to project.