Hextall on Hockey: Jets' off-season looking positive so far

Let’s play plus-minus when it comes to the Winnipeg Jets‘ off-season thus far.

Plus 1: Jets management tackled the team’s top priority by bolstering an underwhelming blue line, trading for defencemen Nate Schmidt and Brenden Dillon.

Schmidt is an elite skater. When Winnipeg faced Vegas in the conference final in 2018, Schmidt was the Golden Knights’ shutdown defenceman due to his speed.

As for Dillon, he plays heavy, he plays hard and he plays nasty.

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Both defencemen would be a fit on any NHL team’s top four and starting next season it will be Winnipeg’s.

Plus 2: signing versatile forward Paul Stastny to a one-year deal prior to him reaching unrestricted free-agent status.

The veteran centre/wing brings leadership, continuity, professionalism and skill to the Jets — a key presence on and off the ice.

Minus: the Jets were unable to sign Laurent Brossoit and the free-agent tender jetted to Vegas. Brossoit was excellent in his time in Winnipeg as the 1B to Connor Hellebuyck, but with his departure comes an opportunity for Eric Comrie.

The Jets signed the beloved Comrie to a one-year deal, and he now has the opportunity to prove himself as a legitimate NHL backup.

That minus is wiped away and replaced by a huge plus as the Winnipeg Jets are set to enter next season as a better hockey team.


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