Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/2/2019 (696 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

UPDATE 2:20 pm.: Matt Hendricks is going from one home to another.

Hendricks, who at 37 years old is a gritty veteran winger nearing the end of his NHL career, was acquired from the Minnesota Wild for a seventh-round pick. The Minnesota native played last season in Winnipeg, scoring five goals and 13 points in 60 games.

With the addition of Hendricks, the Jets get some experience on their roster; Winnipeg is the youngest team in the NHL, with an average age of 25.8. Hendricks is unlikely to crack the lineup when the roster is healthy, but will be leaned on to provide guidance for the younger players. Hendricks had two assists in 22 games for the Wild this season.

The Jets also picked up some left-shooting depth on the blue line, acquiring 26-year-old Nathan Beaulieu from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for their sixth-round pick in June. The seventh-year NHLer has three goals, four assists and 32 penalty minutes in 30 games this season.

In addition, they picked up 29-year-old Bogdan Kiselevich from the Florida Panthers for a seventh-round pick. He has no goals and eight assists in 32 games this season.

The Jets also sent regular-scratch forward Nic Petan to the Toronto Maple Leafs Par Lindholm, a six-foot centre who has one goal and 11 assists in 61 games this year.

UPDATE 11:30 am. The newest member of the Winnipeg Jets is pumped to join a championship contender.

"It’s been rumoured for a while. I know they gave up a lot for me and I just want to help them out," Kevin Hayes said in a conference call from New York. "Everyone knows how good they are and the type of players that they have on their team. I’m excited to get going here."

Hayes, 6-5, 220 pounds, adds a big body up the middle for the Central Division squad. But he’s also mobile and is dangerous on the rush. Admittedly, he has a puck-distribution mentality and is eager to start to meld with the Jets' young, dynamic wingers wherever he slots in.

"I’m definitely a big centre that can skate pretty well, definitely a pass-first guy so, hopefully, I can build some chemistry with some guys," he said. "I don’t want to say exactly where I’m going to play, but I’m going to play with some good wingers who can score some goals. I’m a pass-first type of player and I’m excited to play with some goal scorers."

Hayes already has a unique tie-in to Winnipeg. His cousin is ex-Jets 1.0 goal scorer Keith Tkachuk, and there’s even a picture floating around on social media of a young Kevin wearing an old-school blue No. 7 sweater.

"Growing up we were huge Jets fans," said Hayes, 26, who was just four years old when the Jets headed to Phoenix in 1996.

" I was a huge Jets fan. I knew that picture was going to eventually get out... we would always cheer for the Jets when Keith played for them," Hayes said.

"(Keith) called me pretty quickly after I got traded. He's actually going to be in Winnipeg (Monday), so I'll probably have some dinner with him, which will be nice."

Hayes was alerted to the deal from a TV broadcast.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook for a while now, a couple of hours. Blake Wheeler was the first one to reach out. I think they’re in Arizona right now, but he texted me and welcomed me to the team and gave me some insider info. I’m sure a lot of the guys are going to text me," he said. "I’m excited to meet everyone tomorrow when I get there. I’m flying out of here pretty soon. It will be a hectic day, but I’m excited to get there."

Hayes has been with the Rangers the duration of his five-year career. He’s grateful for the opportunity and time the Eastern Conference squad gave him to develop as a player.

"Over the last couple of years, I’ve become a well-rounded player. When I first entered the league, I was mainly all offence, but I’ve learned to play pretty well defensively. I have my previous (coaches) Alain Vigneault and David Quinn to thank for that.

"My minutes have definitely been up and that’s what I wanted. I’ve been in the league for five years now and definitely every year you want to take another step into your game. This year I’ve been the complete player that I’ve been trying to be for the past couple of years and I was lucky enough to get a chance to do it in New York," he added.

•••

UPDATE 10:10 am. The Winnipeg Jets have wasted no time making a splash at the trade deadline, obtaining centre Kevin Hayes from the New York Rangers Monday morning.

He instantly gives Winnipeg an upgrade down the middle.

"Once I said goodbye to the guys, that was the most emotional part. I’ve been in New York for five years and built some pretty good friendships there. I’m sure Winnipeg will be just as fun and I’m looking forward to it," Hayes told TSN shortly after the trade.

Hayes was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He has 14 goals and 28 assists this season.

"It felt like every hour I was going somewhere new. I probably talked to my agent 25 times in the last two days," Hayes added. "It was somewhere new every time and I’m glad to finally have it over with and go to an unreal team like Winnipeg."

In return, the Jets have shipped forward Brendan Lemieux, a first-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-round draft pick (if the Jets win the Stanley Cup) to Broadway.

Lemieux's father and agent Claude spoke with the Free Press shortly after the trade.

"Sad to leave his teammates, friends, a Stanley Cup contender. But happy for the opportunity," he said.

•••

It's trade deadline day — and the Winnipeg Jets are expected to be actively shopping for improvements to their struggling squad.

NHL clubs have until 2 p.m CT to wrap up deals, with several big names expected to be on the move. It's no secret the Jets could use a boost, as Sunday's 4-1 loss in Arizona leaves them just 3-5-2 in their past 10 games.

The urgency for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and his staff may have been stepped up when top-pairing defenceman Josh Morrissey suffered what appeared to a shoulder injury early in the third period. Winnipeg is travelling back from the desert later this morning, and Morrissey is expected to be further evaluated by team doctors once they land.

Can the Jets bring Winnipeg native Mark Stone home? If not, does Plan B include a forward such as Kevin Hayes, Wayne Simmonds, Marcus Johansson or Derick Brassard?

And what to do on the blue line, a position that was likely in need of an upgrade even before Morrissey went down?

The other burning question is what might go the other way? Winnipeg's first-round draft pick is likely in play, while young skaters such as Jack Roslovic, Nic Petan, Sami Niku, Eric Comrie and Logan Stanley have been linked in talks.

The Free Press has a team of writers ready to bring you news as it breaks. Cheveldayoff is also expected to speak at Bell MTS Place later in the day. Check back here throughout the day for all the latest.

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

   Read full biography

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Assistant sports editor

Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).

   Read full biography

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

   Read full biography
   Sign up for Mike McIntyre’s email newsletter, On Sports