NHL trade deadline: What to expect with the Winnipeg Jets

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NHL trade deadline: What to expect with the Winnipeg Jets
WATCH: 680 CJOB sports director, Kelly Moore talks about what Winnipeg Jets players could stay and go before the NHL trade deadline Wednesday – Mar 1, 2017

WINNIPEG — The NHL trade deadline is just hours away. As many hockey fans anxiously wait to find out who will stay and who will go, we talk with 680 CJOB sports director, Kelly Moore, about the Winnipeg Jets trade deals.

The trade deadline expires at 2 p.m. CT Wednesday. Here is information we know so far:

RELATED: Edmonton Oilers acquire Desharnais from Habs ahead of NHL trade deadline

Are there any big name players left in the trade?

Martin Hanzal and Kevin Shattenkirk were dealt earlier this week as two the big five, Moore said, But there are still three players on the board, such as Matthew Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche, and the Detroit Red Wings’ Thomas Vanek.

Will this be a quieter trade day?

Moore believes there are several factors that could make the trade deadline quieter than normal.

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  • The competitive balance in the NHL, as there aren’t too many teams out of the playoff race.
  • Salary cap issues.
  • The league’s newest franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, also impacts trade deals, Moore said. Teams have to make sure they have the necessary players to fit the criteria for the expansion draft when that happens in June. And the Winnipeg Jets are certainly involved in that, he said.

How does the expansion draft affect Winnipeg?

Teams have two options when it comes to the expansion draft:

Option A: Teams can protect one goalie, three defenceman and seven forwards.

Option B: Teams can protect one goalie and eight skaters (regardless of position).

Moore believes the Jets will go with option B. “However, they risk losing someone like Matthew Perrault and Adam Lowry,” he said.

The Winnipeg Jets are a younger team, and Moore said this means they need a goalie, defenceman and two forwards among the “non-protected players, who are under contract for 2017/2018”. The forwards and defencemen also have had to play 40 games this year or a combined 70 games the previous two seasons.

“The Jets do have Michael Hutchinson, Mark Stuart and Shawn Matthias who fit into that category… but do not have a second forward,” Moore said. “So they can make a trade for player like that that…or have opportunity to sign someone like Chris Thorburn or Drew Stafford.”

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Any big trades?

Jet’s forward, Drew Stafford is the player “most likely” to be traded, Moore said.

The unrestricted free agents, such Drew Stafford, Chris Thorburn, Paul Postma and Ondrej Pavelec, could also have offers.

“But I would not anticipate there being a whole lot of interest in contending teams acquiring those players,” he added.

Who will the Jets protect?

Moore believes the Jets will protect:

  • Connor Hellebuyck
  • Dustin Byfuglien
  • Jacob Trouba
  • Mark Scheifele
  • Blake Wheeler
  • Bryan Little

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