Could the Jets make a trade to replace the demoted Mark Scheifele? Is the ax about to fall for the floundering Blue Jackets? Read on for the latest.
WINNIPEG SUN: Kirk Penton reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has no plans to replace young center Mark Scheifele, who was returned on Sunday to his Junior team in the OHL. A source claimed Cheveldayoff had been telling teams he’d make a decision after the Scheifele demotion if he needed to add another forward. Rumor had it he was interested in Calgary Flames LW Rene Bourque, but the Jets general manager sounded like he was pleased with his current roster. Penton suggests Cheveldayoff should at least inquire into Bourque, given the Jets offensive struggles, but it would likely cost the Jets GM more than he’d be willing to part with to land him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d also suggest the Jets are more in need of a scoring center, not a left winger.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jack Todd wonders how much longer the Canadiens (1-4-2) can continue to struggle until changes take place, suggesting it’ll likely be head coach Jacques Martin who’ll pay the price if the team doesn’t snap out of its funk soon, but believes “the onus here should be on a front office that has not drafted well enough, traded well enough or hired well enough.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Habs fans are also wondering if yesterday’s acquisition of checking forward Petteri Nokelainen is a harbinger of more roster moves to come. While I’ll admit anything’s possible, I believe the next move if the Habs don’t soon snap out of their slump is Martin gets fired. And no, they’re not going to trade Scott Gomez and his big contract. If they couldn’t trade him early in the off-season, when teams had more cap space to take on a declining center earning over $7 million per season, why in Buddha’s name do you think they’ll trade for him now that they have little available cap space? Sorry, not happening.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the suffering continues for the Blue Jackets, 0-7-1 in their first eight games. “How many more can this team lose? How much longer can coach Scott Arniel keep his job? For that matter, what about GM Scott Howson? Is a trade shake-up coming?”, asked Portzline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pressure keeps rising on the Jackets front office to do something – anything – to find a way out of its current funk. The reality could be there’s not much that can be done, other than fire the GM and head coach, and even then, that’s no guarantee of improvement. Still, one gets the sense a big move is coming if things don’t improve soon, and I’m guessing it’ll be a front office and/or coaching change, rather than a major trade.