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Hextall on Hockey: Blue-liners the best deadline trade bait

Top defencemen do not come a dime a dozen.

Top defencemen are not an asset teams let skate away for nothing.

Why? Because besides a goalie and defencemen are the cornerstone of a franchise.

So, what is a top defenceman?

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A top defenceman can move – an ability to change direction and create space through skilled skating.

A top defenceman is a threat offensively – vision, shot, passing, the one-timer.

A top defenceman is a threat defensively – from blocking shots to stopping zone entries to defending the front of the net.

A top defenceman is physical – power, strength, makes it hard to play against in the hard areas of the ice and a streak of mean is encouraged.

A top defenceman is disciplined – uses all the attributes listed above to remain out of the penalty box and on the ice when it matters most.

A top defenceman owns all these qualities and performs each skill at an elite level.

Read more: ANALYSIS — Expect Winnipeg Jets to bolster blue line by Monday deadline

So, how many top defencemen will be available on Monday? What is the price tag attached?

It’s tough to tell in today’s NHL, with a flat cap, quarantine and teams not wanting to take on salary or retain it.

The dynamics to make a trade for a top defenceman this trade deadline will take guts – but isn’t that how one finds glory?

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A top defenceman has been a target for the Winnipeg Jets for multiple seasons and it’s time to take a big swing and make a trade to fulfill the need for now and in the future – even if it costs the Jets a part of theirs.

It’s why a team drafts and develops – to utilize those assets to make the team better in whatever way is necessary when the window to win is open.

It’s time to make the trade.

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RAW: Winnipeg Jets Paul Maurice Interview – Apr. 5 – Apr 5, 2021

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