Earlier this afternoon, news came out of the Winnipeg Jets that Nic Petan had been sent down to the AHL.
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebesWorld) November 19, 2015
This came as a bit of a surprise and marked the end, and a failure, of the experiment the Jets were conducting with their fourth line.
Petan’s inclusion on the opening night roster came as a bit of a surprise to many, but the Jets had a new vision in mind. A four line approach, and not just four lines getting shifts, four lines contributing and scoring. With Petan’s obvious offensive talent, Jets management hoped he could bring some scoring to that line. Along side fellow rookie Andrew Copp, and long time Jet Chris Thorburn, the team looked like they had a pretty good thing going. The experiment started good, the fourth line scored twice in the Jets first game, including the first of Petan’s career.
It wasn’t how you would draw up your first career goal, but it was a positive for the Jets. Petan was also getting some power play time, rare for a rookie. Unfortunately, this success did not continue long for Winnipeg, and the power play has yet to catch fire. The fourth line began playing less and less, and Petan drew out of the line up more and more. Anthony Peluso was brought in to fill the empty space. Peluso brought toughness and grit, and changed the way the Jets fourth line was used. Petan was relegated to a press box spot, and that led to the decision made earlier today.
The Manitoba Moose
Petan was assigned to the AHL this morning and though it will be disappointing for him, this is best for the young player. Petan was not progressing in the NHL. He had only played 14 games, registering just the single point, and has found himself stuck watching much more than playing recently. Whether it be from the end of the bench or from the press box, Petan was not getting the experience he had hoped. Once his minutes dried up, the Jets were no longer the place for him.
This move benefits Petan, now he will get the chance in the AHL that he would never have gotten with the Jets. Petan will likely see top line minutes with the Moose, as well as power play time. He will be counted on as one of the top scorers on the team, and will give an immediate boost to a young struggling team. He will still gain the experience playing against men, but it will be in a far more forgiving setting. The Moose do not expect to be a top team, they are the youngest team in the league by far, and far more concerned with development right now. It will be the perfect place for Petan to grow into the player the Jets hope he can become.
Born and raised Winnipeg sports fan and contributor with The Hockey Writers.