The moment of truth has arrived for Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets.
With his team riding a three-game winning streak and back in second place in the North Division, the Jets general manager has surveyed the landscape and taken stock of which players are available leading into Monday’s NHL trade deadline.
With the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers among the teams to make pre-emptive strikes to bolster their respective defence corps, it won’t take long to find out what the Jets are going to do.
Long before Saturday’s decisive 5-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, the belief was that the Jets would be looking to add at least one player on the back end.
What’s still not abundantly clear is whether the Jets are going to pull the trigger on a deal for a top-four D-man or if they look at adding a depth piece instead.
It’s entirely possible they do both, depending on what happens with the prices.
David Savard was a player who piqued the interest of the Jets before ending up with the Lightning, but the belief is that the Jets are looking to add a blue-liner with term if they take a bigger swing.
Ultimately, the price tag for Savard was simply too high.
Although the Jets value prospects and draft picks, Cheveldayoff has shown at past deadlines that he’s willing to spend premium assets on what he considers to be high-end players at a position of need.
Although the Toronto Maple Leafs have established a six-point cushion at the top of the North Division, the Jets are right in the heart of the race and when you consider the age and experience level of the Jets' core group, it would surprise no one if Cheveldayoff made an impact move to trying and strengthen his team’s chances.
In recent years, when the Jets believed they had an opportunity to make a significant upgrade, Cheveldayoff took a swing.