Jets GM has tough decisions with Mark Stuart, Olli Jokinen | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaJets GM has tough decisions with Mark Stuart, Olli Jokinen

Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 | 12:43 PM

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Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff must decide whether to make a push for the playoffs this year. (John Woods/Canadian Press) Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff must decide whether to make a push for the playoffs this year. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

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Under new head coach Paul Maurice, the Jets have pushed themselves into the playoff picture. Now, does Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff keep the team intact at the trade deadline or continue to build for down the road?

With the 2014 NHL trade deadline set for Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, is taking a look at each Canadian team prior to the final day of wheeling and dealing. After reviewing the situations with the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, we put the Winnipeg Jets in the hot seat today.

The situation: The Jets have not made the playoffs in their two seasons back in Winnipeg, and the franchise qualified for the playoffs only once -- in 2006-07 -- in 11 seasons as the Atlanta Thrashers ... Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has some difficult decisions to make on whether or not to move impending unrestricted free agents Olli Jokinen, Mark Stuart and Devin Setoguchi. If there is a market for him, Setoguchi should be the first out the door. But Stuart is a character guy and an important leader for the Jets. The 35-year-old Jokinen is coming off a solid effort at the Olympics with bronze-medal winner Finland and has played much better for the Jets this season than last year ... Eight of the next 10 games for the Jets are at the MTS Centre. Surprisingly, though, only Calgary (12) and Edmonton (10) have fewer victories at home than Winnipeg's 15 in the West ... The Jets have gone 11-3-1 since Paul Maurice replaced Claude Noel behind the Winnipeg bench.

Playoff hopes: The Jets find themselves in a three-way tie for the final playoff spot in the West with Dallas and Vancouver. The Stars currently have the tie-breaker.

Schedule: 20 games remaining (11 home, nine road).

At home: N.Y. Islanders, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Vancouver, N.Y. Rangers, Dallas, Colorado, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Boston.

On the Road: Colorado, St. Louis, Dallas, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, Toronto, Calgary.

Restricted free agents: Keaton Ellerby, Michael Frolik, Matt Halischuk, James Wright.

Unrestricted free agents: Olli Jokinen, Al Montoya, Adam Pardy, Devin Setoguchi, Mark Stuart, Chris Thorburn.

No-trade clauses: Zach Bogosian (no movement), Dustin Byfuglien (modified), Tobias Enstrom (no movement), Olli Jokinen (modified), Andrew Ladd (modified), Bryan Little (limited), Blake Wheeler (modified). 

Cap space: $4.8 million US.

On the farm: Brenden Kichton, a 21-year-old defenceman, has enjoyed a solid rookie AHL season with the St. John's IceCaps, with his 10 goals and 42 points in 57 games good for third among AHL blue-liners. Initially a fifth-round pick of the New York Islanders' in 2011, he never signed with the NHL team, thus leaving him free to be drafted by the Jets in the seventh round last June. An assist machine, the native of Spruce Grove, Alta., won the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL defenceman of the year last season.

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