NHL Rumors: Winnipeg Jets – Stastny, Appleton, and the Need For Defensemen
The Winnipeg Jets could bring Paul Stastny back. Losing a defenseman in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft would create a bigger hole.
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Stastny could return … Losing a Dman in Expansion would create a bigger hold

Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet: (mailbag) With some of the inevitable moves that need to be made, Winnipeg figures they can be a bit more patient.

Paul Stastny can play up and down the lineup and fills a lot of roles for the Winnipeg Jets. The 35-year old could be brought back but at a reduced salary.

Can see the Colorado Avalanche making sense for Stastny if he doesn’t return to the Jets.

The Jets could lose Mason Appleton in the expansion draft. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could try to make a side deal for the Seattle Kraken to not select Appleton, but he can’t give away too much of their future.

The Jets will have to be creative going forward. They have little margin for errors. Any extra cap space needs to go towards a defenseman that can make an immediate impact on the team. If they lose a defenseman in the expansion draft, they may need to bring in two Dmen.

Adding a right winger that has some size and skill could be one of the other areas the Jets look to address this offseason.

Ken Wiebe of SportsnetThere are lots of potholes to be had if Winnipeg tries to reload in a not-so-wise way.

The key is again for Kevin Cheveldayoff to be smart. Could Winnipeg risk everything for a Dougie Hamilton? Absolutely. Will they pull it off? Now, that appears unlikely. Never say never but still.

Will Winnipeg lose one of its defensemen in the expansion draft? That would mean they may need to find two on the free agent or trade market. They have internal options on the left-side – Ville Heinola and Dylan Samberg – but they are rookies and one may be forced to move to the right side.

“Fortunately, we have three really good left-handed defenceman who, none of them were in our lineup at the start of the year, and they will eventually work their way in.”

Winnipeg and Cheveldayoff must find blueliners who can blend in. They do not have to be homegrown or cost a metric ton necessarily either. It never hurts to have Connor Hellebuyck in the net. Now the general manager and coach must find the right pieces to mesh with the rest of their team.