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NHL Trade Deadline 2014: What's Kevin Cheveldayoff's plan?

Some want Kevin Cheveldayoff to be a buyer. Others want him to sell. What's a boy to do?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

During the Olympic break many local beat writers, pundits and fans have put their heads together on the Twitter machine hoping to solve the most important question heading into the NHL's final stretch:

Will the Winnipeg Jets' be buyers or sellers?

There is a faction of observers who have pointed to Winnipeg's 29-26-6 record -- one which has them on the cusp of the Western Conference playoffs -- and consternate that the Jets' need to buy a ticket to the post-season.

Opponents to this notion have mentioned that this roster as constructed won't be able to support its own weight in the playoffs -- deadline additions or not. This clique believes in a slow and steady approach where patience is a virtue.

But which tactic will General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff take come Wednesday? Here in lies your answer.

Cheveldayoff, by all accounts, is a shrewd and savvy GM. Trading a second round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft for the services of Devin Setoguchi are about as bold as he gets.

Here are a list of transactions that he has made at each of past two years:

Trade Deadline 2012 (Record: 30-26-8, 8th in Eastern Conference)

Trade Deadline 2013 (Record: 18-18-2, 3rd in Eastern Conference)
  • claimed Mike Santorelli (F) off waivers
Taking a look at the accumulating evidence, Cheveldayoff hasn't felt the need to make big splashes in 2012 or 2013 despite having average odds of making the playoffs. His Jets find themselves in a similar situation this winter and thus far, there are no rumours to suggest 2014 will be any different.

That isn't to say that there won't be any action come 2:00PM CST Wednesday afternoon. Winnipeg has three soon-to-be expiring contracts in Olli Jokinen (4.5MM), the aforementioned Devin Setoguchi (3MM) and Mark Stuart (1.7MM) who could all be shopped should the return pique TNSE's interest.

Furthermore, this year's crop of UFA's is much more attractive than last season's in Nik Antropov, Kyle Wellwood and Ron Hainsey.

Full Deadline Coverage

But if the Jets' are to make a big splash as opposed to a moderate ripple at this year's trade table, it will likely come before the clock hits midnight on Wednesday morning.

During the 2012 Deadline, only thirteen trades took place on the final day. The only transaction of consequence saw Zack Kassian moved for Cody Hodgson in a deal between the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres.

In 2013 that number increased slightly to fourteen, but again featured very few players of value. Factor in that most teams looking to buy will have to do so with under $3MM in available cap space and you have the ingredients for what likely could be another slow Trade Deadline.

The Jets could be both buyers and sellers come the deadline or, failing that, simply be waiver wire raiders as is their wont. But if you're hoping that Kevin Cheveldayoff lands a monster name like Ryan Callahan or Ryan Kesler then you're barking up the wrong tree.

Look for the calculated approach to continue as management tinkers slightly with the peripheries of this roster in hopes that the small, subtle work they put in today leads to multiple Stanley Cup Championships tomorrow.