The biggest deal of the 2016 NHL trade deadline could very well have been at the hands of Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. He sent Andrew Ladd to the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday. On Monday morning many Jets fans were left wondering if the management team had anything else up their sleeves.
Turned out the only other roster move the Jets made in the last 24 hours was to place defenceman Adam Pardy on waivers on Sunday. Monday morning, Pardy, who has one assist in 14 games with the Jets this season, was claimed off waivers by the Edmonton Oilers.
"For us to move this franchise forward there's going to have to be more growth. Growth from some of the other younger guys that are going to be coming into the organization," Cheveldayoff said in a press conference an hour after the NHL trade deadline passed.
The right moves or not, it hasn't been a great year for the Jets. Winnipeg currently sits at the bottom of the standings and is the third worst team in the league, ahead of only the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers. A pill that is especially tough to swallow considering that at the deadline last year, the Jets were adding players. Those additions last year led to a great stretch run that saw the club go 15-7-3 in their last 25 games and brought NHL playoff hockey to Winnipeg for the first time in almost 20 years.
Everyone was hoping for a little more from this team heading into the season, but even Cheveldayoff admits you can't always predict how every season is going to unfold. "Every season has a different set of challenges in front of [it], you don't know what those challenges are going to be when you start the season and obviously the things unfold and you have to be able to move and adapt," said Cheveldayoff.
Part of that moving and adapting are forced when things like - Ondrej Pavelec going down for 33 games, Bryan Little getting injured for the season and then Andrew Ladd getting dealt away - happen to a club. Cheveldayoff did say that a trend in the league is to hold onto first round picks and young players and preach the need for financial flexibility for the franchise. Cheveldayoff also mentioned the Jets remaining schedule will give management a better chance to see where their prospects are in their development.
Fans now have to sit back and take comfort in watching the young guns working for full time jobs with this franchise and maybe cross their fingers that some of the conversations the team had on deadline day could lead to some trades at the NHL entry draft table.