Bowman (a week ago): “Chevy, Stan again. Are you ready to deal, yet? I still want Oduya.”
Cheveldayoff: “Price is the same, Stan.”
Bowman: “Seriously? Hey, what about all the good times we had together here in Chicago, winning the Cup and all?”
Cheveldayoff: “Sorry. That’s my final position.”
Bowman (Sunday night): “Chevy, Stan here. It’s almost deadline day. About that Oduya kid.”
Cheveldayoff: “I want a second- and third-rounder, Stan.”
Bowman (Monday morning): “Chevy. What about all those free pizzas Oduya’s handed out, as your coach likes to call them? And have you forgotten I gave you your first job in the NHL?”
Cheveldayoff: “Nope. Now you want him, or not?”
Bowman (yesterday, 1:55 p.m.): “Chevy, it’s me. You still got Oduya?”
Cheveldayoff: “Yup. And the price is—”
“I know. A second and third-rounder. You’ve got a deal. I’ll even throw in a couple of pizzas. Deep dish. Chicago’s finest.”
OK, so we don’t know if that’s exactly how it went.
But the prevailing wisdom was Cheveldayoff did very well, thank-you very much, getting as much as he did for a defenceman he was likely going to let walk, for nothing, as a free agent this summer.
“We had a lot of very blunt conversations with each other that ultimately led to a deal,” Cheveldayoff said of Bowman, his former boss with the Blackhawks. “He was extremely aggressive in this deal. We got to the price we wanted.”
Any possibility of Cheveldayoff budging in his asking price disappeared earlier in the day, when the Jets had a gift fall in their lap in the form of defenceman Grant Clitsome, put on waivers by Columbus.
If the Jets scouting report on the stocky, feisty 26-year-old is accurate — they say several teams above them in the standings would have claimed him if they hadn’t — then it was a decent deadline-day debut for the new kid on the block.
I say decent because, let’s face it, this team didn’t improve dramatically, if at all, Monday.
But it also didn’t sacrifice this season for the future, and that might be its most notable move, or non-move.
As deadline day approached, the players made it clear they liked what they had. Not only by talk, but by the way they were playing, clawing their way back into the playoff race.
“Message received,” Cheveldayoff said. “These guys here have played very, very hard down the stretch. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t more opportunity to maybe make some deals.”
Like maybe a Tanner Glass, Jim Slater or Chris Mason, all without contracts for next year, for draft picks.
A couple of those moves and this team’s chemistry evaporates, we see an influx from The Rock and you kiss a playoff spot good-bye.
“We wanted to try to accomplish a couple things heading into the deadline: take care of ourselves right now, and be able to look towards the future and try and build,” Cheveldayoff said.
Time will tell on the latter.
As for taking care of the here and now, the Jets blew a 2-1 lead and lost, 5-3, to the 29th-place Edmonton Oilers, Monday night.
So much for gaining ground in that playoff race.
And so much for a thank-you message to their GM.