KANE OUT LONG-TERM, WHAT ARE SOME OPTIONS MOVING FORWARD?

Dale Lamontagne
December 30 2014 05:08PM

On Monday, Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice announced that forward Evander Kane will be out until mid-February with a lower-body injury. Yes, ugh, I know. So what do the Jets do now? They do have a few options on the table that they can explore to help temporarily fill the hole up front. 

Lets take a look. 

JETS MISSED OUT ON PAAJARVI 

On Monday, the St. Louis Blues placed forward Magnus Paajarvi on waivers for the purpose of sending him down to the American Hockey League so they can roll with three goaltenders. I guess the Blues want to keep veteran netminder Martin Brodeur on the main roster with Brian Elliott making his way back - and losing Paajarvi is not the biggest deal for a talented St. Louis squad, so the move does makes sense. 

So the question was -  should the Jets have made a claim?   In all honesty, I think they should have. Yes, Paajarvi has struggled this season to score at the NHL level, but he wasn't given a fair opportunity to play - getting into  only ten games with limited ice time. Paajarvi is a decent possession player and would have come cheap at a $1.4 million dollar cap hit, and would have acted as a bottom six player, helping with the loss of Kane on the third line and eventually taking Peluso's place on the 4th. 

With the way the Jets bottom-six is currently structured, I  firmly believe Paajarvi would have been a chance worth taking. But looking outside the Jets, it's strange that 29 other teams passed up on him. I thought for sure he would have been claimed. 

In the end, this would not have been a bad move for the Jets because he is capable of being a good third or fourth line player when given the proper opportunity - and he didn't get that in St. Louis. 

Can't win 'em all, I guess. 

WHAT OPTIONS DO THE JETS HAVE NOW? 

Now that Paajarvi is out of the picture, the Jets can look down on the farm in St. John's and recall one of Eric O'Dell or Carl Klingberg, who are ultimately better than TJ Galiardi, Anthony Peluso, or Chris Thorburn. 

Oh, and speaking of Thorburn: 


No, no, no. This is silly. The Jets played without Kane last night and Thorburn was his replacement and that's not something I want to see again. Just no. 

But looking down at St. John's:

Klingberg is basically the Jets organization's version of Paajarvi. At 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, Klingberg is a big bodied forward who has been playing well with the IceCaps as of late. But although he can put up numbers in the AHL, he struggles to produce when given the opportunity in the NHL. In 9 games played with the Jets dating back to the 2011-12 season, Klingberg has only scored one point in that time. 

O'Dell, on the other hand, has played 30 career NHL games - all with the Jets - scoring 7 points in very limited minutes. He's currently 12-8-20 in the AHL in 29 games played this season, and would be considered an option to replace Kane for the time being. 

An obvious ''quick fix'' or  a panic move would be to make a trade, but I can't see that happening at this point because there is no need to rush to make a trade when you have players in the AHL capable of coming up. 

CONCLUSION

The situation the Jets face with injuries is tough. But there are options to try and fix the issues - even if it's temporary. Acquiring Paajarvi would not have been a ''bad'' move due to the low caphit and the role he would play. But also experimenting with players from the AHL is not a bad option either, because giving players who deserve another chance in the NHL - when the time is right - is one of the smartest things you can do. I just don't want to see Thorburn in Kane's spot for a prolonged period. 

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Dale covers the Toronto Maple Leafs for his personal website, The Leafs Report, and the Winnipeg Jets for Jets Nation. He is credentialed in the AHL covering the Hamilton Bulldogs and currently studies Journalism - Print & Broadcast at Mohawk College. You can contact him at dalelamontagne5062 [at] gmail [dot] com, or on Twitter: @Dale_Lamontagne.
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#1 Chico Santana
December 30 2014, 06:02PM
Trash it!
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Nikolaj Ehlers on an emergency call up for the San Jose game on January 5th. He'll be jacked from playing in the World Juniors and Toronto is closer to the Peg from St. John's. We can dream can't we? That kid can snipe. Great game vs. Switzerland today. I can see him challenging for a spot on the big club next season. Why not give him a test drive?

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#2 X
January 02 2015, 02:59AM
Trash it!
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@Chico Santana

The Jets can not use an emergency call-up for a forward, they have lots of options under NHL contracts. They are only a few unlucky injuries away from being able to call up Josh Morrissey on an emergency basis.

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