WINNIPEG – When it comes to trade deadlines, this might have been the most exciting one since the Jets came back to Winnipeg.

The Jets made a couple of deals Friday before the 2 pm CT deadline – two separate transactions with the New Jersey Devils. First, forward Tyler Toffoli was acquired for a 2024 third round selection and a 2025 second round selection and then defenceman Colin Miller joined the Jets for a 2026 fourth round pick. 

Today continued to show that the Jets are “all-in” says general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

“It’s all about winning. It has been since the very first day when Mark (Chipman) sat here when the franchise first relocated. Every decision we make, it has a purpose in mind to ultimately try and win. When you have different opportunities and different things that might become available, and you feel it’s going to make your team better, you have to try and act,” said Cheveldayoff.

“We felt getting Mony (Sean Monahan) back when we did, we had to act decisively. And then these opportunities presented themselves. The deadline does become a deadline and that’s when things do start to heat up. Even today, we had two players, we have to do it on the day when you don’t have to do anything to the rosters, it expands. So, trade deadlines kind of culminate to the point here. It’s a long lead-up to the frenzied finish.” 

Toffoli has a Stanley Cup ring from 2014 with the Los Angeles Kings, as well as the valuable experience that comes with a long playoff run.

The 31-year-old also knows Sean Monahan from their days in junior with the Ottawa 67s (from 2010 through 2012) and with the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames (for 37 games in the 2021-22 season) and Alex Iafallo who played with him in Los Angeles from 2017 through 2020.

“He's connected with a lot of the guys within the room that we’ve brought in over the course of time or whatever. So, there's some familiarity there, which essentially, I think will be very, very important,” said Cheveldayoff. 

“Unfortunately, they don't have the luxury that Sean Monahan had coming in as early as he did. But I think because they have familiarity with some players, I do think that's going to help.”

Toffoli brings 26 goals this season to a loaded forward group and the aforementioned experience.

“I think you want to just come in and not overstep on anyone’s toes. I think your voice kind of matters. If I feel like there’s something that needs to be said, then I’ll try and say it,” said Toffoli. 

“It’s not going to be one of those things where what I say goes. It never is. It’s a team discussion. I’m going to try and come in and fit in and make it as easy as possible. And just let my play speak for itself and go from there.”

Toffoli has faced the Jets in the postseason, but it was during the pandemic in the qualifying round where his Montreal Canadiens beat Winnipeg in four games in 2021. He is looking forward to stepping on the ice in the Manitoba capital and playing in front of Jets fans.

“I was telling my wife earlier how I've never played (in Winnipeg) in the playoffs with the whiteout and all that, and I definitely showed her some of the videos and it's pretty sweet. We're looking forward to it,” said Toffoli. 

“It's going to be a lot of fun, and like I said the team is playing really well right now and it feels like we have all the pieces. We'll see what happens moving forward and I'm just going to try and come in and fit in as easy as possible and do whatever I can to help everything out here.”

Cheveldayoff also added another right-handed shot on his blue line with the addition of Miller. The 31-year-old understands the Central having played last season with the Dallas Stars and has 40 games of postseason experience that includes a trip to the Final in 2017-18 with Vegas.

“He has a lot of playoff experience. Certainly, when I talked to him several minutes ago, we talked about that. He has a good shot, he moves really well, he’s got that experience, he’s got that pedigree. So those are all things,” said Cheveldayoff. 

“I think Bones had some people in Dallas that he knew, he talked to them about their experiences with him. And even more importantly, both guys are great people. That’s a big check mark for us as well.”

All these moves don’t mean the Stanley Cup parade has been booked through downtown Winnipeg. Colorado, Dallas, Vegas and Edmonton all made a big move or multiple moves to improve their teams. Cheveldayoff described their conference as the wild, wild west.

“Today's the trade deadline date, tonight's the game, tomorrow's another game. Like there's no parades, there's no banners, there's no nothing,” said Cheveldayoff.

“There's a sigh of relief that two o'clock has come and gone. And again, we made the moves we thought we wanted to make and we're going to go from there. The real work is ahead of us.”