Rick Bowness: "He's happy to come to winnipeg"
Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness couldn't be happier with the move made by general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to acquire forward Sean Monahan from the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
The trade was for a 2024 first round pick and the possibility of a 2027 third-rounder should the Jets win the Stanley Cup this year.
And that condition is no joking matter, as Monahan's contract runs out come July 1 this offseason. So the goal would be to push Winnipeg to a deep postseason run, ultimately concluding with a trek up and down Portage Avenue with a Cup parade.
Bowness, who served as one of four head coaches voted into the All-Star festivities this past week in Toronto, spoke to reporters on the subject of his team's newest player. The veteran bench boss eluded excitement to those interested in his team's addition.
"We're absolutely thrilled," Bowness smiled. "He's a very important addition to our team. He's going to help us in an awful lot of ways. We know he's strong on faceoffs. He's a solid 200-foot player, which we like to play. I hear nothing but great things about his character and his work habits and being a real good teammate. He's a really good fit."
Having already spoken with Monahan, the Jets' coach let reporters know the incoming forward was excited to arrive in town.
"Guys are happy to have him, I know he's happy to come to Winnipeg. And really that's the most important thing for us."
And of his playing abilities and dressing room presence, it's a combination of both that has Bowness excited.
"He's had a good year offensively. He's just a very reliable player. Just as important to us, he's bringing the right character into our locker room. We've had a wonderful locker room — great chemistry — and we know he's going to fit right in with us."
Where exactly he slots into the lineup is anybody's guess, but by Bowness' estimation it will be the second line centreman role between Nikolaj Ehlers and Cole Perfetti.
"We'll see what it looks like, you never know," Bowness said. "Your eye test, it tells you everything, the chemistry of the line. We've got to give it a good chance to go. We know what Mark's line looks like, we know what Adam's line looks like when it's going well.
"We'll give Sean a good chance with Cole and Nikky and we'll see how it all goes."