Though the Winnipeg Jets have been linked to nearly every potential free agent forward including the very best of the best, it might be a smaller move that gets things kicked off for the Western Conference contender. Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press reported yesterday that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been working to bring in an experienced depth forward in order to “give head coach Paul Maurice more options in his bottom six.” McIntyre notes that the Jets have too often become a three-line team, benching their fourth unit because Maurice can’t quite trust them.
That can be seen perhaps most notably in the ice-time logs of a young player like Jack Roslovic, who until recently had been limited to fewer than ten minutes almost every night. In fact, Roslovic has played fewer than seven minutes in 14 of his 49 games this season, hardly giving the young forward a chance to contribute. While Roslovic has been given an opportunity to play a little more recently, there is obviously a balance issue on the Jets that could be addressed with adding some more experience down in the lineup.
While McIntyre and just about every other media member points out how the Jets could also use a legitimate second-line center for the stretch drive — the role that Paul Stastny filled last season after being acquired from the St. Louis Blues at the deadline — it’s an interesting note that Cheveldayoff seems more focused right now at adding down in the lineup.