In case you missed it last night, the Winnipeg Jets made a big move by acquiring defenceman Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals in exchange for two 2nd round draft picks.
The 30 year old blueliner is a solid addition for the Jets who is capable of playing both sides of the puck. He's a versatile defenceman who can is just as adept at rushing the puck up ice as he is at snuffing out plays in the defensive zone. In other words, he's the exact kind of player that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been seeking for awhile now.
And to add proof to that, Jets insider Scott Billeck reports that the team has been trying to acquire Nate Schmidt from the Vancouver Canucks, but that Schmidt himself has invoked his no-trade clause to block move to Winnipeg several times now.
From Billeck's column for The Winnipeg Sun yesterday:
Meanwhile, despite “several attempts,” Vancouver Canucks defenceman Nate Schmidt won’t waive his modified no-trade clause to become a member of the Jets.
Sources say the Jets have tried several times to acquire Schmidt this offseason, who has four years remaining on a six-year deal signed with the Golden Knights that come switch an AAV of $5.95 million.
Schmidt invoked the same clause last year when the Jets tried to acquire him from the Golden Knights.
There are reports, of course, that Schmidt wants out of Vancouver but evidently he's being picky about where he ends up. Which, to be honest I don't blame him. He was plucked away from the Washington Capitals by the Vegas Golden Knights through no choice of his own, then he gets unceremoniously dumped by Vegas once Alex Pietrangelo arrives in town, now he's looking at his 4th NHL home in six years. I don't blame the guy for wanting a little control over where he ends up, but let's not act like Winnipeg is such a terrible place. I get that it's cold and it's become somewhat of a meme for a lot of hockey fans, but to reduce a passionate and knowledgeable city and fanbase to a punch line is pretty insulting. The fact of the matter is the Jets have a good, young team that figures to be in Stanley Cup contention for the foreseeable future. There's a lot worse places a $6 million defenceman on the wrong side of 30 could end up.