July 3, 2020

20° C, Overcast

Full Forecast


Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

Waiver wire pickup could lead to fourth-line shakeup

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/12/2019 (211 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Jets made their third waiver wire pickup of the 2019-20 season Wednesday, grabbing centre Nick Shore from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That move, coupled with the improving health of wingers Mason Appleton (foot) and Gabriel Bourque (upper body), set the stage for what could be a completely rebuilt fourth line for Winnipeg.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)</p><p>Nick Shore, as a member of the Los Angeles Kings in 2017, was picked up off waivers by the Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday.</p>

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Nick Shore, as a member of the Los Angeles Kings in 2017, was picked up off waivers by the Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday.

The current trio of David Gustafsson centring Joona Luoto and Logan Shaw has struggled to generate much offensive zone time and neither of the two rookies Luoto or Gustafsson exceeded Shaw's 8:23 of ice time in Tuesday's 5-1 win over the visiting Dallas Stars.

The teams meet again Thursday in Big D and the 17-10-1 Jets are on a roll, winners in nine of their last 11 starts while outscoring opponents 38-26 over that span.

Shore, 27, is in his seventh NHL campaign with 257 regular-season games on his resume. Jets head coach Paul Maurice said the organization had been looking for veteran help at centre since Mark Letestu and Bryan Little were sidelined by illness and injury and Shore's skill set checked the necessary boxes.

"Well, he’s a positionally smart player so he can figure out — you know that kinda good pro — he knows where he’s supposed to be on the ice," said Maurice. "The addition there is he has hands to make a play. It’s not just off the glass and out. He has an awareness of the ice around him. You want more than just banging the puck out all the time because we’ll put wingers out there that can handle the pucks...

"He’s over 50 (per cent) on faceoffs and he kills penalties — so all of the things we’re looking for."

Shore, a Denver product, was to meet his new teammates in Dallas Wednesday night, perhaps making his debut Thursday against the Stars. Veteran forward Andrew Copp said the aim should be to integrate the newcomer as quickly as possible.

"You reach out, try to have a little conversation with him tomorrow, and go from there," said Copp, who was a teammate of Shore's younger brother Quentin in the U.S. Development Team program. "Once he's in a game you start talking to him on the bench, giving him pats after a good shift, he starts to feel it right away.

"Hopefully we can get him in the mix right away and make him feel important. Because we're going to need everybody... he could be an important piece for us."

Maurice could decide to insert Shore immediately. He was also asked if he was in a hurry to get Bourque and Appleton back in the mix.

"No, not yet — I want them to earn their way back in," said Maurice. "I like the way our fourth line has played in terms of how hard they’ve played. These guys have battled hard and you’ve got two really young, kind of inexperienced guys there just getting better, right? They are much better now (in the) offensive zone, (Gustafsson) gets his first goal and has a couple of points. Logan’s been the conscience of the line in terms talking to them on the bench, so I’m not first in as soon as a guy’s healthy. We brought those guys into camp and they were picked for a reason."

The addition of Shore does not mean the 19-year-old Gustafsson will automatically be loaned to the Swedish team at the world junior hockey championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic later this month.

"Clearly we like this guy an awful lot — see him as a long-term Jet," Maurice said of Gustafsson. "But we don't want to stunt growth, either. If we think he'd be a whole lot better playing way more minutes — the world junior, that's not really on my radar. It's the more minutes, the more touches, would that make him better?

"The progress rate we've seen out of him is good. We've been talking about this right from Day 1. You've got a 19-year-old who can't go back to the American League and has to go back (to Sweden) if he goes back. What do you do with him? He played good, we got better, so we've hung onto him."

NOTEWORTHY: Defenceman Luca Sbisa, who left Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury after being struck by Alexander Radulov's skate, did not practise Wednesday but is expected to suit up in Dallas Thursday... Blue-liner Nathan Beaulieu, sidelined for four games with an upper-body injury, practised Wednesday and could play Thursday.


Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

Read full biography


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us