The Winnipeg Jets have been among the most active teams at each season’s respective trade deadline. In the past two years, they’ve added Kevin Hayes and Paul Stastny, neither of which were players who stuck with the team long-term. Jets coach Paul Maurice suggests it might be time the Jets looked at things differently.
Maurice told reporters, including Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun, that he hopes the Jets hang onto their young assets instead of grabbing a high-quality rental. Essentially, he’s tired of seeing young players leave for talent that doesn’t stay. He said:
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.
That doesn’t mean he’s against adding. He’s just against going all in and moving quality pieces to do so. Instead, he’s hoping the Jets find a way to add a piece (or two) that will help the team long-term.
Maurice contends he knows what his team is right now and that they’ll naturally get better. “The core of this team is right. And young and going to get better. So if there’s something there that gives us a boost right now, (I’m) all for it.” That likely includes trying to find a little help on the blue line or in their bottom forward lines.
His Players Agree
Maurice isn’t the only one on the team who feels this way. Nathan Beaulieu doesn’t think the Jets needed to add anything, either. Despite a lousy record heading into the All-Star break, Beaulieu said:
“This team’s really close. You look at the last couple of years, who’s won, St. Louis and Washington. It’s just a really tight-knit team that’s been together. One or two changes isn’t going to change the world. Everyone believes in each other in this dressing room.”
In Winnipeg, the team might not have any choice but to go with who is already there. A tough salary cap situation and uncertainty around Dustin Byfuglien means the team, as is, needs to find ways to win. “We’ve got good, young talent here. It’s getting to the hardness. Developing it night after night. Under pressure,” Maurice said. That will start with a very tough match-up against the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
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