Wednesday was an off-day for the Winnipeg Jets before heading back into the locker room Thursday to prepare for Friday's visit by the Pittsburgh Penguins; and most players did get a chance to enjoy their break. Most.
In the still young NHL season, Wednesday was the single busiest day for Jets management, who pulled off two trades and made a call-up that could change the shape of the team for the remainder of the month, if not the season.
First, the Jets elevated heralded goaltender Eddie Pasquale from the St. John's Ice Caps. Pasquale will be wearing an NHL jersey for the first time on Friday, as he will likely back up Ondrej Pavelec vs. the Penguins while Al Montoya recovers from an upper body injury suffered in Tuesday's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Though Pasquale has a losing record with the Ice Caps this season, the losses are more reflective of poor team play overall. His .912 save percentage is more indicative of his skill level than his 14-19-2 record between the pipes.
The Jets then made their first acquisition during the season, picking up Eric Tangradi from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a seventh round draft pick. Tangradi has played in five NHL games this season and has not recorded a point on the left wing. Tangradi is a 2007 second round draft pick (Anaheim) with one goal and four assists in his 45-game NHL career.
To make room on the roster for Tangradi, the Jets then traded Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a couple draft selections. Ponikarovky, ex of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was picked up by the Winnipeg Jets in the off season. While he had played in all 12 Jets games this season, his poor play - 2 goals in those contests - were not up to snuff and many felt his time was short with the team.
The Jets square off with the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow at 6:15 Central at the MTS Centre. The game will be broadcast on CTV for a rare Friday night edition of Hockey Night in Canada.