Jets Acquire Paul Stastny from Blues


When Mark Scheifele went down on December 27, the Jets were supposed to experience some sort of setback. But at the time of Scheifele’s return on February 9, the team had won seven of its last eight games, including a victory over the league’s best team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Jets were also fourth in the league in unblocked shot attempts, attempting nearly eight percent more shots per game than their opponents.

Unfortunately, Scheifele’s return was spoiled by St. Louis, as the Blues toppled the Jets 5–2, and in his second game back they were bested by the New York Rangers, handing the Jets consecutive losses for just the fourth time this season. While no one was necessarily accusing Scheifele of ruining whatever good thing the Jets had going, it was a little odd to see the team drop back-to-back games as their top centre returned to the line-up.

But on February 13, with Valentine’s Day imminent and the love of hockey in the air, Scheifele flipped the script. Looking to avoid dropping three straight games, Scheifele opened the scoring against the visiting Washington Capitals, notching his first goal since returning. Though it won’t go down as one of Scheifele’s nicest goals, it was just enough to get him going. Scheifele went on to tie that game with 15 seconds remaining, and it was Scheifele again who set up Tyler Myers for the overtime winner.

Since then, Scheifele has been on a tear, scoring four goals and adding six assists to give him ten points in six games. His performance didn’t go unnoticed by the league, who gave him third star of the week honours.

But Scheifele wasn’t the only addition to the Jets line-up in February. On trade deadline day, the Jets acquired centre Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for 2015 third-round pick Erik Foley, a conditional first-round pick in this year’s NHL entry draft, and a 2020 fourth-round pick. Stastny, 32, is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $7 million dollars; the Blues, however, retained 50 percent of the veteran’s salary.

In 63 games this season, Stastny has tallied 12 goals and 28 assists skating on the Blues’ second line. 

The deal caught many in the hockey world off-guard, and even generated some questionable tweets from a player in St. Louis, but it’s safe to say the Jets are excited to have added the crafty playmaker.

What will Stastny bring to Winnipeg? At 32, it’s safe to say the Quebec City native’s best days are behind him, but that’s not to say he can’t bring extra offense to the league’s fourth highest scoring team. Just where he’ll fit into the line-up remains to be seen, but his addition could be just what the Jets need to push them over the top.

Stastny doesn’t play an overly flashy game. He’s a pass-first player, with silky hands, high hockey IQ, and a good shot. Though he’ll likely slide behind Bryan Little on the depth chart, the deal certainly gives head coach Paul Maurice plenty of flexibility.

“We are very pleased to get a veteran centre iceman, which is hard to do in today’s league,” Maurice said of the trade. “He’s a player that fits our game how we try to play, can play the power play, kill penalties, and plays against the other team’s best. He has very nice vision and creativity, and he’s very versatile.”

When asked who Stastny will play with, Maurice gave very little idea: “We’ve talked about three potential line combinations.”

Perhaps what makes the deal most interesting is that Stastny had a full no-move clause. It’s often said around the league that free agents don’t want to move to Winnipeg. What this deal tells fans—and the league—is that Winnipeg is a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup.

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