When it comes to collecting top-end talent for one’s hockey club, the draft, a trade and free agency are often the paths taken, and at one point or another are met with a hefty price tag.
It’s similar to the fancy storefront windows we see at this time of year, where the hottest items of the season are on display and often come with a price tag to match.
While name-brand gifts are nice, it doesn’t mean the 50 per cent-off items aren’t quality. They just might not be as shiny.
Which is similar to the NHL’s waiver wire.
When it comes to working the wire, the Winnipeg Jets have been the best shoppers of the season to date.
Waiver wire pickups in defenceman Luca Sbisa and forward Nick Shore bring nearly 800 NHL games to the Jets, which provides the team with the gift of experience and a sense of calm.
Head coach Paul Maurice can rely on the duo and trust they can be deployed at critical moments of the game to get the job done.
In addition, the waiver wire acquisitions allow the future of the Jets to become the next generation of players.
Sbisa and Shore help fill minutes when a regular roster player is injured, allowing the Jets to avoid a call-up and the likes of Sami Niku or Mason Appleton to skate major minutes with the Manitoba Moose instead of minimal minutes with the Jets — a much more beneficial situation for both players.
Yes, the waiver wire has been a true gift to the Jets this season. Sbisa and Shore may not have come wrapped in gold, but are proving that they’re worth their weight it in.