LISA BOOKE: What’s next for the Winnipeg Jets?
Posted February 05, 2019 12:15:10While the Winnipeg Hockey Club hasn’t been quite as successful as the Boston Bruins or Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, they’re making some big moves and some big signings this off-season.
Head coach Scott Gordon will be returning to Winnipeg, after being out of the NHL for nearly a decade due to a knee injury suffered in 2017.
The Jets will also be adding a new head coach in Mark Stuart, who spent three seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes and one year in Boston, and he’ll have some familiarity with the team he was a part of for a few years.
The most exciting move to come out of Winnipeg is undoubtedly the signing of forward Andreas Athanasiou.
Athanasirou is a right-shot centre who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick.
He was a regular in the Jets lineup before suffering a season-ending injury in the second round of the playoffs.
He’ll join the Jets in Winnipeg as part of a four-year contract worth a reported $2.6 million per season.
Athasirou was also signed to a two-year deal with the Jets last summer.
For the Jets, he will add to the depth chart behind Connor Hellebuyck and Jacob Trouba.
If the team can add a right winger, the Jets could certainly use another young player like Athanasio.
After a disappointing first half of the season, the Winnipeg’s fortunes have been much improved in the past week.
The Jets are currently riding a nine-game winning streak and sit in sixth place in the Atlantic Division.
The win streak came after a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday, and the Jets have now won three straight games and are in seventh place.
The team has also managed to avoid an early exit from the playoffs in their past five games, and they’ll look to extend their run at a berth in the Memorial Cup this weekend.