It was a rumor that started surfacing on Thursday evening. As the Vegas Golden Knights put trading Marc-Andre Fleury on the backburner due to difficulties in making a deal work financially, Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon began to look to other options. Among them was moving Paul Stastny and his $6.5 million cap hit in an effort to do other things in free agency.
As reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger on Friday morning, pending a trade call, the Golden Knights have traded Paul Statsny to Winnipeg for a 4th in 2022 and Carl Dahlstrom.
Related: Jets Rumored to Be Interested in Former Jet Paul Stastny
At the same time, the Winnipeg Jets were keen on adding a second-line center. They knew Stastny well, the veteran having been with the organization before. And, the team was in a position to take on a bit of salary to add the player they needed.
It became clear there was a fit there. Beat writer for the Jets, Scott Billeck tweeted late Thursday evening:
Two sources confirm the #NHLJets are close to striking a deal for C Paul Stastny from the Vegas Golden Knights. Sounds like picks are involved going the other way. Stastny has one-year left on a deal making him $6.5 million per year.
By Friday morning the details of the deal had been worked out. The delay was likely the sweetener the Jets wanted thrown in for taking on salary that was sure to benefit Vegas.
Jets Never Wanted Stastny to Leave
When he left for Vegas in free agency, it wasn’t for a lack of trying on the part of the Jets. The club put together a competitive package but seeing as Nevada is a tax-free state (often why the Golden Knights are so keen on being players in free agency) and with the team a contender — the deal was too good for Stastny to pass up.
As the Jets tried other centers in his place, things never quite worked out. This is a round-about way of getting it done, but eventually, the Jets get back the man they wanted all along.
A Good Transition for the Jets
Having drafted Cole Perfetti in the first round of this year’s NHL Entry Draft, Stastny can potentially fill the second-line center role until Perfetti is ready. In a way, Stastny is the perfect bridge mentor to help ease Perfetti’s transition along to the NHL.
The Jets and their fans are likely elated to have a known commodity back for one more season. He should slot right in and be a productive player.
Next: Everything You Really Need to Know Heading Into Start of NHL Free Agency 2020
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