Trivia buffs were all a flutter today when the Winnipeg Jets made the first mid-season trade of their new run, as Akim Aliu was dealt to Calgary for defenceman John Negrin.
Okay, so maybe the trade didn’t light the hockey world on fire, but as a first-time trade that wasn’t made prior to the start of a campaign, it was a clear sign that GM Kevin Chevaldayoff wouldn’t be bashful when it comes to pulling off a deal.
The swap is somewhat mysterious on first glance, since the Jets can hardly be accused of having too few capable defensemen; but given that Negrin is more than likely AHL-bound for the remainder of the year, the swap means something much larger is set to occur.
As we’ve discussed in the past, there are a couple blueliners, namely Johnny Oduya, who could be a trade deadline target, especially as the Jets look to amp up their forward corps. The move allows the Jets to put a very competent rearguard in St. John’s roster while promoting a prospect, Paul Postma for example, up to the main squad for the remainder of the NHL season.
Bottom line – this trade may seem small, but in the longrun, it’s going to be a big one for the Winnipeg Jets.
Jon Waldman has written about hockey for several publications over his decade-long journalism career, including The Hockey News, The Toronto Sun and Winnipeg Men Magazine. A graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism program, Jon is working on his first book on the history of hockey, to go along with two other books he has published since 2009.