Jets acquire Stastny from Blues for prospect, picks

MIKE DEAL  WINNIPEG FREE PRESSPaul Stastny during pre-game practice just hours before the team plays the Nashville Predators at Bell MTS Place Tuesday

The pair had played together in Germany during the NHL's 2012-13 lockout season, have the same agent and crossed paths in their teens while playing for US squads and attending camps. And he acquired a talented centre, Paul Stastny, from the St. Louis Blues. "We want to make it far this year and getting a guy like him is definitely going to help".

The Winnipeg Jets have acquired forward Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues.

One of the picks is a first-rounder for this summer's NHL Draft while the other a 2020 fourth round pick should Foley not sign. The Blues will retain 50 percent of Stastny's remaining salary. "But at the same time you can tell just how much his teammates mean to him, how much the city of St. Louis means to him". If Jake Allen and Carter Hutton can get their games straightened out, a similar situation could play out again this spring.

"I was fully prepared not to make any moves if there wasn't a right fit", Cheveldayoff said. "When you look at that roster, or playing against them for the 2-3 years, it's a team that plays a high-quality game, offensively a juggernaut". Rather, he's expected to chip in, which he nearly certainly will do if he plays between Laine and Ehlers, while providing the extra depth that could help Winnipeg get over the top in a division that is as hotly contested as any in the league.

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He has played 805 career National Hockey League games for St. Louis and Colorado and has 216 goals and 633 points. He now plays for Providence College, where he has 15 goals and 19 assists in 32 games this season. Stastny has played in 55 career playoff games, including a trip to the West final two years ago. Defenceman Dustin Byfuglien is next with 43 and won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010. "I had no idea one of those teams would be seriously interested". "Sometimes you have to make those tough decisions", he said. Adding Stastny gives the Jets the best top nine forwards in the National Hockey League.

What gives the Stastny deal even more potential to be a success is that the current lineup structure in Winnipeg could see the veteran pivot play between Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers. That could be where the newcomer is plugged in. We get to own the good start. "We were happy with this team we had, but now we're even happier". Adding a player the quality of Stastny only works to improve that number. Over the past several games, Jets coach Paul Maurice has had Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor on either side of Scheifele, Little between Perreault and Jack Roslovic and Andrew Copp centering the "third" unit with Laine and Ehlers.

"I think the opportunity to contend was more attractive than anything I was going to say", Wheeler said. "Be a lot of pressure. I still believe the mood in that locker room after we made that trade is still going to fight the last 18 or 19 games we have left here to make the playoffs and that's not going to change".

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