NHL Rumors: The Winnipeg Jets will have some cap space to work with

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets are starting to get healthier and they’ve accrued some salary cap space according to Darren Dreger, and they could look to add before the deadline.

So it’ll depend on how healthy the Jets are for the remainder of this season but they could be a player, they could add pieces at the trade deadline and have several millions of dollars to do that.

TSN: Darren Dreger and Craig Button on That’s Hockey on if the Winnipeg Jets should be all-in at the NHL trade deadline.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Gino Reda: “They’re challenging for first in the division as we say. They’re one of the very few teams in the league with any real cash to spend.

Dregs, are they all-in?”

Dreger: “Well, all-in is a big phrase. They’re looking at the success they’ve had, and the fact that they’ve endured adversity to this point in the season, and how they’ve managed it. They like the results that they are seeing.

They’ve faced so much issues in terms of the injury front. At one point they had several of their regular players, as we know out of the time up.

Interesting to note, Kevin Cheveldayoff, management of the Winnipeg Jets, did not put any of those players on long-term injury even though there were players that would have qualified for that. The reason they did that is because they’re trying to save some cap space.

Now, it depends on what happens between now and the March 3rd trade deadline. If the Winnipeg Jets are healthy, and they’re getting back to full health, but if they stay healthy, then there’s no doubt Cheveldayoff is going to have cap space to play with on March 3rd or just prior to that trade deadline. And that can be a valuable commodity at that time as teams are looking to move out some pieces.

So I do think Winnipeg will be a great position to add but I’m not so sure they’re prepared to go all-in, we’ll see.

Reda: “Chevy’s got cash and he’s out there shopping. So Craig, let me put that to you. Where should he be looking to buy?

Button: “Well before I get to that, let me just say this to what Darren was just talking about. What a difference a year makes…”

Reda: “No kidding.”

Button: “… for a general manager who believes in his team. Who believes in his players, to see them perform at a high-level changes you’re view. You’re not looking at how to fix something and how to get a team to play to its capabilities. Now you’re looking how to help them.

And to me there is two areas I would look at in their group. I think they tried to work their fourth line. They tried a lot of different players in that area. I’m not worried about their top three players. Mason Appleton comes back. Morgan Barron, Adam Lowry, and Mason Appleton, that is a really good third line.

They’ve tried to maneuver and manipulate the fourth line at different times. I think they’re still trying to figure out what would fit. But, to get a little more definition in there. Whether it be some size, some weight, some speed, some catalyst type players. I think that that would be something that would help them.

The other area, the bigger area, I think would be a defenseman”

Dreger: “I agree.”

Button: “Not a top four defenseman but a defenseman that might be able to slide into that middle group. And it might be a 4-5. But somebody that can just add a real element. Somebody that might be a little bit bigger that can push his way into the oppenents space and make life real difficult for them.

That’s what I would be looking at, and I think for Kevin Cheveldayoff to be where he’s at now, seeing his team performing and functioning really well, gives him a real opportunity to look at different avenues to improve his team.