For the third time this season, the Winnipeg Jets looked to the waiver wire to bolster their roster.
The Jets claimed forward Nick Shore off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The Jets previously landed Luca Sbisa from the Anaheim Ducks, and Carl Dahlstrom from the Chicago Blackhawks on waivers earlier this season.
The 27-year-old Shore had two goals and one assist in 21 games with the Leafs this season. The Jets will be Shore’s fifth NHL team after also playing for the Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and the Los Angeles Kings.
“He’s a positionally smart player,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice told reporters.
“He knows where he’s supposed to be on the ice. The addition there — he has hands to make a play.”
The Colorado native was in the Kontinental Hockey League last season with Magnitogorsk Metallurg.
His addition gives the Jets some depth at centre and will help on the penalty kill.
“We want somebody that can move the puck a little bit from that middle-ice position,” Maurice said.
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“He’s over 50 [per cent] on faceoffs and he kills penalties. So all of things that we’re looking for. And then it’s depth. When [Mark] Letestu went down and then [Bryan] Little went down, and these were going to be long-term, we’ve been looking to add a centreman, some depth there for awhile.
“Nick was the first one that came up that we thought made some sense.”
Shore will meet the team in Dallas where they’ll play the Stars on Thursday. The team will then make a decision on whether he’ll play against the Stars.
With Shore’s addition, the Jets returned forward Michael Spacek to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The 22-year-old didn’t appear in a game since his recall three weeks ago.
Spacek has three goals and four assists in 14 games with the Moose this season.
Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu could return to the lineup against the Stars after missing their last four games with an injury. Sbisa is thought to be fine after he left Tuesday’s game in the third period when he took a skate to the nether regions.
Forward Mason Appleton is also getting closer, although he won’t be ready in time to play the Stars.
He hasn’t played since breaking a bone in his foot playing football prior to the Heritage Classic more than five weeks ago.
“It’s fluky, obviously,” Appleton said. “You don’t plan for that stuff.
“It’s unfortunate, but you live and you learn.”
Appleton was clearly frustrated by the odd injury, and it was still too soon to joke about getting hurt playing football.
“Maybe when I’m retired 10 years from now,” he said.
“Now obviously, like I said five times already, it’s frustrating. But maybe when I’m 30-40 looking back on it … then it’ll be funny.”
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