February 23, 2018 | 11:45pm ET
JETS CLOSE ON BRASSARD, SHIFT FOCUS ELSEWHERE
Kevin Cheveldayoff, GM
The Winnipeg Jets appeared to be extremely close to acquiring centre Derick Brassard from the Ottawa Senators on Friday, league sources have told TFP, and will now turn their efforts to other players around the NHL.
In a three-way trade with the Vegas Golden Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins that needed to be fine-tuned after the NHL rejected the original deal that was submitted, Brassard was dealt to the Penguins.
Prior to being shipped to Pittsburgh around the lunch hour, Brassard was almost dealt to the Jets. Had the Golden Knights not entered the equation and retain 40 percent of Brassard’s salary, the Penguins likely would not have acquired him.
Now, with Brassard in Pittsburgh, the Jets have to shift their attention to some of the other players they’ve discussed.
It’s believed the Jets are interested in multiple forwards, both pending free agents and players with term left on their deal.
The Jets have been linked to Senators forwards Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith, New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash and right wing Mats Zuccarello, Detroit Red Wings winger Tomas Tatar, and Montreal Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw, among others. Of these players, only Nash is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveladyoff is willing to part with some top prospects and young roster players in order to upgrade his team ahead of the playoffs, and he may even have willing to part with his team’s first-round pick in this summer’s NHL Draft, as he may have offered as part of a package for Brassard.
The Jets have a significant amount of salary cap space to play with and can retain a player with a hefty salary, which could assist in facilitating a trade.
Trade talks are expected to continue over the weekend and it’s possible the Jets complete a deal well before Monday’s 3pm ET trade deadline.