Hainsey, Antropov: Too good to trade
Ron Hainsey’s play may have priced him right out of the trade market.
Hainsey has long been seen as a player Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff might peddle at the deadline, but a number of factors are beginning to make such a deal less likely.
To a slightly lesser degree, the same can be said for Nik Antropov.
Both veteran players are unrestricted free agents this summer and Cheveldayoff likely had plans to try and grab draft picks in exchange for both prior to the trade deadline.
But a GM’s plans are always subject to his team’s position in the standings. If the Jets are holding down third spot in the conference on deadline day, will he be a buyer or a seller?
“Yes. I would be one of those,” laughed Cheveldayoff. “It’s an interesting time. I think the real dynamics that come in to play are the potential ramifications of the cap going down next year. I think the traditional buying and selling will occur, but there could be some deals that have long-ranging effects.”
Cheveldayoff has to consider the optics of trading veteran players while having a legitimate chance of finishing third in the conference and having home-ice advantage in a playoff series against a low seed.
“I’m not so worried about third or not. If we get into the playoffs, then we deserve to get in there. Third or sixth or eighth or fifth, it would be a great opportunity for our young players to go to the playoffs,” said Cheveldayoff. “That’s obviously what you are trying to do. Now, you don’t sell the farm to do it, but in the same breath you don’t sit here and look at the opportunity and say, ‘nah, we’ll wait until next year.’ You take what you can get and you run with it.”
Hainsey has consistently been one of Winnipeg’s top-three defenders all season and it’s difficult to imagine Cheveldayoff moving him for futures unless they are jaw-dropping. Maybe a combination of a roster player and picks could get Cheveldayoff in the mood to deal.