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Posted On Thursday, 02.26.2015 / 2:56 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Jets

WINNIPEG -- Forward Jiri Tlusty will debut for the Winnipeg Jets when they host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

The left wing was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday for two draft picks,

the second major trade in two weeks by Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

They acquired defenseman Tyler Myers and right wing Drew Stafford from the Buffalo Sabres in the Evander Kane trade on Feb. 11.

Tlusty arrived in Winnipeg shortly before the morning skate and likely will skate on the second line with center Mark Scheifele and Stafford.

"[The whirlwind] was a little wild, but it is part of it and it's kind of fun too," said Tlusty, who had 13 goals and 10 assists with Carolina this season. "It's great to be here. When I heard the news I was really excited. Leaving [Carolina] was hard but I'm really excited to be here and part of the Jets."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 2:48 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The struggling Winnipeg Jets will have two more problems when they host the Dallas Stars at MTS Centre on Tuesday.

The Jets will be without right wing Blake Wheeler and defenseman Ben Chiarot as they try to fend off a host of competitors chasing them for the first Western Conference wild-card berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wheeler (lower body) will miss his first game of the season. Right wing Michael Frolik will replace Wheeler on Winnipeg's top line, alongside left wing Andrew Ladd and center Bryan Little.

"[Wheeler] has that speed and that big body," Little said. "[Frolik] is a hard worker and I like that. He plays simple [and] up-and-down [hockey]. I kind of know what to expect. They are different styles but I think that they suit everybody's game in different ways."

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Posted On Monday, 02.23.2015 / 5:01 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Jets' Maurice not expecting reinforcements at deadline

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets' fortunes this week might test general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff's steadfast commitment to a long-term draft-and-develop philosophy.

The Jets' 4-6-3 record since Jan. 27 has jeopardized what once appeared to be a very solid grip on a Stanley Cup Playoff spot. Winnipeg's skid has allowed what was an eight-point cushion on a Western Conference wild-card position to dwindle to three points.

Winnipeg's roster sustained another blow Monday with the announcement that rookie defenseman Ben Chiarot will be out for most of the regular season. Chiarot had surgery Sunday after injuring himself in a fight with Daniel Winnik of the Toronto Maple Leafs last Saturday in a 4-3 overtime loss.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 3:30 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Injuries up front could lead Jets to seek further help

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff's list of decisions to make before the NHL Trade Deadline expanded Wednesday.

The announcement that the Jets could be without left wing Mathieu Perreault until the end of the regular season further complicated Cheveldayoff's roster. Perreault, who sustained a lower-body injury in a 5-4 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers, has helped to anchor the second line with center Mark Scheifele and ranks third on Winnipeg with 18 goals.

Right wing Drew Stafford was injured against Edmonton and is day-to-day. Cheveldayoff acquired Stafford from the Buffalo Sabres in the Evander Kane trade on Feb. 11. Stafford immediately solidified the top-six forward group and had been promoted to the top line before sustaining his upper-body injury

Stafford did not practice Wednesday, but Jets coach Paul Maurice said he might be able to play Thursday against the Washington Capitals. If not, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien would move to forward.

"When [Stafford] comes back, we'll make a decision whether we have enough depth up front to drop [Byfuglien] back to the blue line," Maurice said.

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Posted On Monday, 02.16.2015 / 3:06 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Jets

WINNIPEG -- A one-game layover is an opportunity for the Winnipeg Jets to take two points and further ease right wing Drew Stafford and defenseman Tyler Myers into their lineup.

The Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at MTS Centre on Monday, their lone home game in a stretch of five games. Winnipeg returns home after a 1-1-0 road trip that finished with a 5-4 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Another two-game trip begins Thursday against the Washington Capitals.

Jets coach Paul Maurice has praised Stafford since the team acquired him and Myers from the Buffalo Sabres in a blockbuster trade Feb. 11. Maurice rewarded him with a spot on the top line with left wing Andrew Ladd and center Bryan Little.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 3:12 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Wild at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Minnesota Wild can exert further pressure on the Winnipeg Jets when they visit MTS Centre on Tuesday.

A six-game winning streak has moved Minnesota to within six points of Winnipeg in the Central Division. The Wild, who defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 at home Monday, have three games in hand on the Jets. Winnipeg holds the first Western Conference wild-card berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and ended a six-game losing streak (0-4-2) with a 5-3 home win against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

The Wild did not have a morning skate after an early-morning arrival in Winnipeg; however, they did make two roster changes Tuesday.

Left wings Ryan Carter and Jason Zucker were placed on injured reserve after they sustained upper-body injuries against Vancouver. To replace them the Wild recalled defenseman Stu Bickel and forward Brett Sutter from Iowa of the American Hockey League. Sutter has three assists in five NHL games this season.

Right wing Justin Fontaine, who has not played since Jan. 29, could dress and fill one of the forward roles.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.08.2015 / 2:39 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Jets

WINNIPEG – The Colorado Avalanche will attempt to avoid letting the Winnipeg Jets pull further ahead in the Western Conference with a visit to MTS Centre on Sunday.

After a 1-0 road loss against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, Colorado has been shut out in each of its past two games. The Avalanche power play is scoreless in its past 24 attempts spanning eight games, and they have scored eight goals in their past five games.

Even though the Jets have lost six consecutive games (0-4-2), they still hold a seven-point lead on the Avalanche. Since Jan. 27, the Jets have seen their seven-point lead on the first Stanley Cup Playoff wild-card spot in the Western Conference shrink to one. The Calgary Flames hold the second wild-card spot and will have two games in hand on Winnipeg after the game Sunday.

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Posted On Friday, 02.06.2015 / 3:50 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Chicago Blackhawks have an opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the Winnipeg Jets when they visit MTS Centre on Friday.

The Blackhawks are third in the Central Division and have a three-point lead on Winnipeg. Chicago also has two games in hand on the Jets, who have lost five games in a row and will be without left wing Evander Kane for the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury.

However, the Blackhawks have lost three of their past four games and have been shut out in each of their past two. Chicago has lost the first three games between the teams this season, with Winnipeg outscoring the Blackhawks 10-3.

After playing Winnipeg, the Blackhawks visit the St. Louis Blues on Sunday to finish a seven-game road trip, their longest of the season. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews expects a different performance from his teammates against Winnipeg.

"We're looking for a rebound and to be a lot better than we were in the [past] game," Toews said of the Blackhawks, who were shut out 3-0 by the Minnesota Wild this past Tuesday.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.31.2015 / 2:23 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Jets

WINNIPEG -- Nobody needs to tell the Dallas Stars what is at stake for them when they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

The Stars are nine points behind Winnipeg in the Central Division standings. Winnipeg holds the Western Conference’s first Stanley Cup Playoff wild-card spot. Dallas has two games in hand on Winnipeg, and they are four points behind the second wild-card team, the Calgary Flames.

“We definitely know where we’re sitting,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said after the morning skate Saturday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 3:17 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend could not have arrived at a better time for the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday before they begin their break, which ends Jan. 27. The game Wednesday follows a stretch of seven games in 11 days for the Jets, who have battled an assortment of injuries to their defense corps since late-November.

Winnipeg will have defenseman Jacob Trouba back in the lineup against Columbus after they activated him from injured reserve Wednesday. Trouba has not played since Dec. 13, missing 16 games because of an upper-body injury.

However the Jets will sit out defenseman Mark Stuart, who has an undisclosed injury, until after the break. Stuart played six games after returning to the Winnipeg lineup from a lower-body injury sustained Dec. 16.

With Stuart out, Trouba will pair with defenseman Jay Harrison.

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Quote of the Day

We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.

— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday
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