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Paul Stastny Returns to Winnipeg

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Party like it’s the 2017-18 season again!

Vegas Golden Knights v Vancouver Canucks - Game Four Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets have decided that what is old is new again. The Jets have struggled to replace Paul Stastny as their second line centre since he walked a mere two years ago. They have decided that they best way to officially replace him is to trade for him when he is two years older. However, he is still fine. He can still drive play. He can still pass the puck.

With fewer better options on the market, Winnipeg is trading a 2022 4th round pick and Carl Dahlstrom for a year of Stastny. This is one of those trades where the asset management is poor on Winnipeg’s part, but not enough to get angry about. I would have liked a pick to be coming back to the Jets, but it is what it is.

This trade feels like a way to keep Patrik Laine happy until Cole Perfetti is ready for NHL action. His cap hit is a one season issue and because of that it is not an issue at all. If the Jets want him to return, it will be on their terms and for the money they offer. The Jets do not even need to do that. What they need is a stop-gap for a season or two that will help them have a productive second line and a happy winger.

Make no mistake, the Laine Affair is an important component of the team: he is upset that he doesn’t get to play with the team’s best offensive centre and they are now trading for someone he has had success with in the past. Stastny might not be the player he was, but he is better than any second-line centre the Jets have right now.

This news probably signals that Bryan Little will be on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) to start the season. LTIR offers cap relief so teams can replace the player that they have lost like they are doing here. Unless Little gets a clean bill of health, this is the likely route the Jets will take with him every start of season. They might even trade his contract to a team to help them reach the floor if they want permanent cap relief. Either way, they would be using that cap relief as it was intended.

Welcome back, Paul!