© Geoff Brookes
On the Friday before the NHL trade deadline, my son called me and asked if it would be OK if he came over to watch the Jets play the St. Louis Blues. I was really pleased by this idea. I picked him up and brought him over to our house. My wife and one of my daughters were out together that evening. After a quick supper, my son and I settled into the couch to watch the game.
The Jets and the Blues had played back to back games earlier in the season. Carter Hutton stole the first game with some brilliant goaltending. The Jets won the second game. Winnipeg was playing great hockey, but the games were close. Then, in early February, the Blues beat the Jets at Bell MTS Place, with some solid, energetic hockey.
Not so, last Friday. After an initial flurry of shots by the Blues, the Jets dominated the remainder of the game, going on to win 4-0, with great forechecking. The Blues looked lifeless. They had just lost 5 straight games.
Midway through the second period, we were talking about how the Blues’ season was quickly unraveling. My son said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if the Jets could get Alexander Steen (son of Winnipeg Jets great Thomas Steen).
I was struck by this thought – the synchronicity of the Blues losing streak and the looming NHL trade deadline. “Yeah, that would be cool!”, I agreed.
Little did we know that the GM’s Of the two clubs would be in touch with each other that same weekend. That the deal would proceed quickly to the next step – getting the Blues’ player to waive his no-trade clause. After a phone call with an old acquaintance on the Jets, Blake Wheeler, the Blues player agreed to the trade.
Except it wasn’t Alexander Steen. It was the son of another father-son combination- Paul Stastny, son of Peter Stastny, the great Nordique, who later played for the Blues as well.
Now, my son and I were only day-dreaming. We weren’t predicting this. When the news broke on Monday, we were all stunned. There were no rumours, no suggestions that the Jets were interested in Stastny.
It *was* sweet revenge for losing out on the potential trade acquisition, Derick Brassard. He had been traded by Ottawa to the Penguins. What was galling to Jets fans was that Vegas has bankrolled the Penguins acquisition, partly to keep Brassard off the Jets roster. Vegas didn’t want Brassard going to a Western club- especially Winnipeg. So they help the Penguins to make it work, on the money side .
When the Jets traded for Stastny on Monday, it was unexpected, incredibly exciting, and wonderful revenge!
It is a season of dreams for Jets fans. The team is heading for a level of wins and points that has never been reached before, for either a Jets, Thrashers, or Jets 1.0 team. There has never been this level of talent or success for a Jets team.
With the addition of Stastny, many in the media are picking the Jets to win the Stanley Cup this year! Stastny is a play-making centre that is expected to lay perfect passes for goal scorers like Laine and Ehlers. Stastny is also strong defensively. TSN pundits are now saying that the Jets have the best forwards in the NHL!
Whatever happens this year, it will be incredibly exciting.
Here’s hoping for a Stanley Cup victory this same year! And possibly more to come!