Maybe it would be easier for Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff if the Stanley Cup was clearly within his club's grasp. Then, just as Ray Shero has done with stockpiling the already-gifted Pittsburgh Penguins with more talent, he could push his chips to the middle of the table and go all in before the NHL trading deadline. And yes, it would also be just as straightforward for the Jets' GM if his team was wallowing in the Eastern Conference basement, giving him the green light to approach the deadline with an obvious rebuild in mind. But it's not that simple. And it's here -- with three games remaining before next Wednesday's trade deadline -- where Cheveldayoff's franchise blueprint of methodically building through the draft and not sacrificing the future could clash with the pressure to live in the moment. Yes, here are Chevy and the Jets still scrapping to hang on to top spot in the Southeast Division and, even more importantly, the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. And how that impacts what the Jets do or don't do as April 3 approaches can't be understated, because finishing third would not only give them home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, it would also mean they could avoid a match-up with conference heavyweights Pittsburgh, Boston or Montreal.
Seed of doubt
Winnipeg Free Press | Mar 30