With the NHL trade deadline less than 24 hours away, the Winnipeg Jets continued tinkering with their lineup, adding veteran right winger Lee Stempniak from the very busy New York Rangers Sunday in exchange for right winger Carl Klingberg.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff pulled off a trade for former Hurricanes winger Jiri Tlusty on Wednesday, and the deal for Stempniak mirrors that pattern insofar as there's not a huge upside or downside to it.
The 32-year-old Stempniak moves to his sixth NHL team after scoring nine goals and 18 points in 53 games with the Rangers this year, and while he doesn't have a wealth of playoff prowess (two goals in 24 career games) the team can hope to see repeated if the Jets do make the post-season, the cost – the 24-year-old Klingberg, drafted 34th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009 – wasn't anywhere close to prohibitive. Stempniak will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and should be considered strictly a rental for depth purposes; Klingberg has 15 goals and 15 assists in 51 AHL games this season, but just 12 career regular-season NHL games under his belt and only a single goal to show for it in that span.
All in all, this deal isn't about to make a major difference for either the Jets or Rangers, but it is typical of the minor roster shuffles made by teams bound (or hoping to be bound) for the playoffs.