Kevin Cheveldayoff weighed in on a number of topics Monday as he held his mid-season "State of the Jets" media availability on Zoom.
ON CANADIAN QUARANTINE RESTRICTIONS IMPEDING A POTENTIAL TRADE:
“You make a deal to make a deal and you live with the restrictions surrounding it. We’re in that type of environment that obviously, we know there are different protocols. It would be an easier transition if the rules do change, but I don’t know that that’s going to affect my decision on making a deal. It didn’t when we obviously knew that Pierre-Luc (Dubois) was going to have to quarantine and moving forward, we won’t as well."
WOULD IT MAKE SENSE TO DO A TRADE NOW, RATHER THAN WAIT UNTIL CLOSER TO THE APRIL 12 DEADLINE?
“I think the deal has to feel right from a fit perspective. But then the deal also has to feel right from an acquisition cost perspective. You weigh all those things and take them into consideration. Certainly lots of things change on your individual team on a game-by-game basis and your needs also do change on a game-by-game basis. When you’re dealing in a cap world where, certainly in our situation, once we spend it, it’s gone, you have to make sure that you’re trying to take everything into consideration. The quarantine is something that we just have to deal with. If you can find that deal that you like and it fits, then I think you just do it whenever.”
HOW ACTIVE IS THE TRADE MARKET RIGHT NOW?
“I think we’re dealing with a lot of teams this year that are in LTI (long-term injured reserve). That’s been something that has been a little bit different than in years past. There’s a great number of teams, because of the cap situation, that are in different circumstances in how they have to treat deals. Money in, money out, you hear that a lot in different conversations that you have. As far as the frequency and the volume and the players, I think a little bit of a difference also is there’s no wildcards this year, it’s the top four in each division. I think that has come into conversations maybe a little bit more in some people’s minds, whereas you had those fights before at No. 5 and No. 6, now it’s just the top four."
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOUR TEAM SO FAR THIS SEASON?
“That’s an interesting question. When you’re talking first half of the season, you’re generally talking 41 games. And we’re doing this at 26, 27, 28 games type thing. I think there’s still a lot to learn about our group. I think this shortened season, there’s still that learning aspect that I think our team is going through. You see the different games we’ve kind of played over the course of the year. You know there’s a lot of growth that can still take place in your group. I think that’s exciting for me. We played essentially a month without Patrik Laine or Pierre-Luc Dubois. You add up those number of games that were missed because of Patrik’s injury and then Pierre-Luc’s quarantine and subsequent injury, I think the team is still learning a lot about itself.”
HOW MUCH DOES THE LOOMING SEATTLE EXPANSION DRAFT IMPACT THINGS LIKE TRADES OR DISCUSSIONS WITH PENDING FREE AGENTS SUCH AS ADAM LOWRY, PAUL STASTNY AND MATHIEU PERREAULT, GIVEN YOU CAN ONLY PROTECT SEVEN FORWARDS, THREE DEFENCEMEN AND ONE GOALIE?
“I think the trade aspect of things is certainly something you have to consider if it comes to that point. If it's a rental, then obviously it doesn't come in as much. If it's a player on a multi-year deal, then potentially it does. Certainly it might determine how much of an asset you want to give to acquire a player if it puts you in those situations. But as far as the UFAs, we're hopeful that we can continue to do business as usual, whether it's in a pandemic or not. I think the hard part is the flat cap moving forward. That makes it very uncertain how to allocate the different resources. So as far as that goes, we'll try to make it as "business as usual" as possible.”
ON WHAT YOU'VE SEEN SO FAR FROM PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS SINCE THE MID-JANUARY TRADE WITH COLUMBUS:
"I think we're really just scratching the surface with Pierre-Luc, and I think the three-week time frame was difficult for him to deal with. But I really like how things are coming together with the options Paul has. Like, right now watching Pierre-Luc with Nikolaj (Ehlers) and Kyle (Connor), it's exciting to think just the chemistry that's being built there and how they're going to continue to grow. Anyone in our top six I think you can probably mix and match now, and like a lot about those lines. So excited to have Pierre-Luc in our lineup and I think it's just going to get better and better.”
ANY UPDATE ON BRYAN LITTLE'S FUTURE? HE IS ON LTIR AFTER SUFFERING WHAT IS BELIEVED TO BE A CAREER-ENDING INJURY LAST SEASON:
“Nothing really to update on that. As of right now, that process is still status quo. He’s in Ontario and no update to give you there.”
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC IMPACTED YOU PERSONALLY?
“It's interesting. I had a little bit of an opportunity maybe to focus on my body and had an opportunity to get back into the shape when I took the job. And maybe the stresses kind of put a little bit on me. But it's been an opportunity to really reflect on how much I just really, really love the game, and really love the opportunity that I have here right now to be part of this organization and to be part of the National Hockey League. When you don't have the opportunity to do that on a daily basis, or it's changed, I do think that you really appreciate how important it is to take advantage of every single day that you do have when things are operating."