The 2013-14 trade deadline came and went without the Winnipeg Jets management lifting so much as a finger on a day that saw several big names change area code. Aside from the signing of defense stalwart Mark Stuart, the Jers sat on their hands, which only serves as more evidence that G.M. Kevin Cheveldayoff is going to stay with the same partners he started with this season.
The Jets G.M. is nothing if not a patient man, which is commendable in the high pressured winning is everything racket that is professional sports. Fortunately, the man they call Chevy is not faced with the same ‘win now or walk the plank’ scenario as more established teams in the league such as Montreal or Minnesota. Both of those teams seized the opportunity to pick up potential difference makers this season in Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson. Furthermore, he isn’t in the throw in the towel and rebuild mode like Vancouver, the Islanders and Buffalo.
No, Chevy, his team and by proxy the self-proclaimed ‘greatest fans in hockey’ are stuck in trade deadline date purgatory yet again as Chevy stayed the course by not making a deal that would either add more depth to the club in the midst of a 4 team battle royal playoff fight or change the face of the club by jettisoning some veteran unrestricted free agents such as Olie Joikinen and Devon Settoguchi or even some enigmas like Dustin Byufuglien.
It was déjà vous for fans as Chevy gave his current roster a vote of confidence, just like last season, rewarding them for what was becoming a lost season under Claude Noel to a fight for the finish line with Paul Maurice at the helm. There were factors beyond Chevy’s control that appear to have led to him standing pat, such as the injury to top centreman, Mark Scheiffle whose coming out party was abruptly ended by a Clavin DeHan body check. Another factor are those ‘no trade clauses’ that give players the ability to put the kibosh on being traded to certain teams.
It appears the Scheiffle injury was the main factor as it has thrown the team into disarray without a suitable center to replace him. Therefore, Chevy was put in the untenable position of either having to sell the farm as in draft picks and prospects to get a center that would end up being a rental player to replace one that while out for the season has shown he is the real deal or alternatively dealing away a veteran or two and messing with the chemistry in the dressing room just as this team appears to have found its mojo.
In light of the forgoing, Chevy did the right thing by not doing anything because there is no point trading for the sake of trading or trading from a position of weakness. It ‘s not the ‘sexy’ or ‘entertaining’ outcome many fans wish for on trade deadline day but it does show that Chevy is a man of principle and is not one to make knee jerk reactions.
Moreover, he has put the puck on the players’ sticks and is giving them the power to take advantage of it to seize the moment and make this season a success or face the consequences for failing.