Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff obviously believes he has a Stanley Cup contender on his hands.
Cheveldayoff rarely makes deals, yet there he was wheeling and dealing at the NHL’s trade deadline. He actually gave up a first-round draft choice! And he acquired a talented centre, Paul Stastny, from the St. Louis Blues. Incredibly, Stastny waived his no-trade clause. NHL players usually have Winnipeg atop their no-trade list.
Stastny is a friend of Jets captain Blake Wheeler. They must also believe the Jets can vie for the Stanley Cup this year.
There are very small championship windows open for teams like Winnipeg. The Jets won’t long be able to afford and keep together a group that includes Connor Hellebuyck, Patrick Laine, Mark Scheifele, Dustin Byfuglien, Nikolaj Ehlers and Jacob Trouba.
Cheveldayoff hired a fine coach in Paul Maurice, vowed to be patient, put the Jets into contention and decided they can’t keep waiting.