About an hour ago, Bruce "Evgeny Malkin to the Kings" Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun broke news that despite having his choice of joining four different teams, San Jose Sharks centre Michal Handzus had approved his trade to the Chicago Blackhawks.
And in news truly fitting on April Fools Day, Garrioch went on to divulge that one of the other three clubs interested in the services of Handzus was none other than the Winnipeg Jets.
Michal Handzus had the choice four teams _ including the Winnipeg Jets when he made his decision to go to Chicago. #TRADTRACKER— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) April 1, 2013
Gary Lawless, likely armed with the findings of Garrioch offered a second confirmation that Winnipeg was indeed in on the ground floor of the Handzus sweepstakes, taking his thoughts to Twitter approximately fifteen minutes after Garrioch's original tweet.
told #nhljets were in the hunt for Michael Handzus but were not able to close deal and he's off to Chicago #bn— gary lawless (@garylawless) April 1, 2013
The first question that should immediately come the the mind of every Jets' fan is "why?". Handzus is nothing short of irrelevant in today's NHL, posting a meaningless two points in twenty-eight games so far this season. His aging body now thirty-six averages just north of thirteen minutes of hockey a night. Furthermore, his addition serves no long-term benefit as his 2.6MM contract is to expire at year's end. The only saving grace is that Handzus owns a 55.6% face-off winning percentage, which would make him -- by default -- Winnipeg's ace in the circle while Jim Slater works his way back from a broken hand.
But if this is the beginning of Kevin Cheveldayoff spiralling into a Jay Feaster-esque "we're going for it!" motif, then we as Jets' fans should be wittingly cautious of what is to come in just under two days from now. The Jets' roster, as presently constructed, has no use for Handzus. He would be little more than a fourth line player on a team severely lacking the top-six scoring depth required to make an kind of serious run in the upcoming playoff race and subsequent post season.
Yet, so far this season, that seems to be the TNSE penchant; stockpiling fourth-line talent which Claude Noel has unethically mashed into his line-up, similar to the way Dr. Moreau spliced animal with man. Antti Miettinen on the second line. James Wright and Eric Tangradi (two goals between them!) both given time on the third unit. The Jets have become an island of misfit dolls for mediocre talent. And we were oh-so close to adding another pet project to the stable today.
While we may have barely dodged the Handzus bullet, there's no telling what the next two days may bring. Perhaps we can take advantage of the Buffalo Sabres' fire sale by acquiring John Scott. Or maybe Jay Pandolfo -- fresh out of retirement -- is available.
Pray for our souls.