When it came to the waiver wire Tuesday, the Winnipeg Jets went three for five.
As expected, the Jets retained the services of Mathieu Perreault while center CJ Suess and defenseman Nelson Nogier also went unclaimed. Not so expected, however, was the loss of goalie Eric Comrie and blueliner Luca Sbisa who were claimed by New Jersey and Nashville respectively.
Perreault was visibly relieved to be remaining in Winnipeg, exchanging a fist bump with a member of the coaching staff following the expiration of the waiver period during Tuesday’s practice.
“It’s been a little crazy, obviously when I heard yesterday I wasn’t really excited about. You know it was a cap situation, something they had to go ahead with,” explained the veteran forward in reference to his US$4.125-million salary.
“For me here with my family, my kids in school and stuff, it wouldn’t have been a real ideal situation for me to have to go somewhere else.
“That part of it got me nervous. It’s just part of the business, I understand that.”
It would appear as though the recently dubbed “Dirty Thirty’s” line might be a thing for Thursday Night’s opener versus Calgary. The nickname is in reference to the ages of linemates Perrault, Nate Thompson and Trevor Lewis.
Head Coach Paul Maurice made it sound like forward Jansen Harkins isn’t quite ready after suffering some kind of ailment during or following last Wednesday’s scrimmage. And there is the small matter of Lewis needing to be signed, although Maurice made that sound almost like a fait accompli with the way the former LA King has performed in camp after missing the first two days while completing a mandatory quarantine.
“He’s still on a PTO (Pro Try Out) so there’s some groundwork that has to be covered. But he’s in the mix for sure,” was how Maurice responded to Lewis being under consideration to be a part of the opening night lineup.
“He’s had a really good camp, you know the guy’s a player because he has been around. We have people here that are really familiar with him and that need and style of play, he fits to a T — another penalty killer and we need that.”
Maurice did not hesitate when asked about the netminding situation with Comrie no longer part of the organizational depth chart. Mikhail Berdin will be going on the taxi squad to satisfy the NHL mandate for all teams having to carry a third goalie this season, so the organization will figure out what to do about who tends the net for the Manitoba Moose when that becomes an issue.
The departure of Sbisa, who had two goals and eight assists in 44 games for Winnipeg after being claimed off waivers from Anaheim last season, also opens the door for a Dylan Samberg or Logan Stanley to perhaps join Sami Niku as the blueliner-in-waiting. Although not a whole lot of patience might be required with the Jets scheduled to play six games in nine days starting next Monday.
And if there was any doubt about what a tight-knit group the Jets are, captain Blake Wheeler pretty much cemented that with his reaction to next-door neighbor Sbisa heading to Music City U.S.A. “I’m not happy about that one. Not Happy at all.”
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