The Winnipeg Jets fancy themselves a legitimate Stanley Cup contender and they pulled of a move Monday that sent a message to the rest of the Western Conference.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff acquired forward Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a conditional 2018 first-round pick, a conditional fourth-rounder in 2020, plus forward prospect Erik Foley.
Stastny has 12 goals, 28 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 63 games this season. The 32-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $7 million, although the Blues will retain 50 per cent of his salary, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford has the details on the conditions involved with the draft picks that were part of the deal.
The move gives the Jets significant depth at centre if the team indeed decides to play him down the middle behind Mark Scheifele and Bryan Little.
Blues forward Brayden Schenn did not sound too happy about the deal when asked for his reaction.
“Crazy,” Schenn said. “One or two points out [of a playoff spot], move a guy that does a lot for us. But at the end of the day, you know, that’s [management’s] decision. I guess we’ll see what happens.”
It’s unclear where exactly Stastny will fit in the Jets lineup but he should have a strong rapport with Jets captain Blake Wheeler. The two forwards have known one another since their teenage years and have both represented Team USA together at international tournaments. They also spent the 2012 lockout as teammates with Munich EHC in the German league.
Stastny has 216 goals, 417 assists and 380 penalty minutes in 805 career regular-season games split between the Blues and Colorado Avalanche.
Foley was a third-round selection (78th overall) of the Jets in 2015 and has yet to play an NHL game. The 20-year-old winger has 15 goals, 19 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 32 games with Providence College this season. The Mansfield, Mass., native was teammates with Blues forward Tage Thompson when the two won a gold medal with the United States at the 2017 world juniors.
- Conditional first-round pick (2018)
- Conditional fourth-round pick (2020)
- Erik Foley