On Wednesday, the Winnipeg Jets officially announced a one-year, $750K contract for forward Trevor Lewis. The 34-year-old Utah product had been skating with the team for the past week, after signing a professional tryout prior to camp.
Successfully turning his PTO into a one-year deal seemed to be no problem for the two-time Stanley Cup champion.
“I’ve got to earn a spot but I’ve been working hard this off-season,” Lewis told reporters late last week. “I’ve always prided myself on being a utility guy where I can play any position and move up and down the lineup. Whatever they need me to do, I will do.”
The 10-year NHL veteran has spent the majority of his time one the Jets’ fourth line, skating alongside a combination of Nate Thompson, Mathieu Perreault, Mason Appleton, Kristian Vesalainen and Jansen Harkins. He appears to be enjoying Winnipeg.
“There wasn’t this much snow in LA,” he laughed. “It’s been different here, but it’s been great. Everyone has been very welcoming. When I look at this group, it’s got a lot of talent, a lot of skill and a lot of good leadership. I’ll just come in and help any way I can. I talked to everyone here and it felt like a good opportunity.”
According to his coach, Lewis brings to the table exactly what the team needs for the coming season.
“The value in having a veteran man on your fourth line is that they’ve known that job for a long time and they take a great amount of pride in it,” Maurice said. “It’s usually all the hard things. You’ve developed the ability to sit on the bench for slightly longer than the normal rotation and come out and go hard. You’re usually a penalty killer. Those are difficult things. So you’ve become a really really good pro if you’re a veteran fourth line player, you’re a good pro.”
Lewis’ NHL experience includes 10 seasons, 674 games, 163 points and two Stanley Cup rings with the Los Angeles Kings (2012, 2014) – something coach Maurice was quick to bring up.
“The benefit off the ice is also clear,” the coach added. “But also you get a guy that will practice the same way every day. He’s not taking three days off and then tries to wind it up in a game. When you find men that have a career on the fourth line, they’re good at it. When you look back, we’ve had guys like Matt Hendricks here. And what Matty did is he brought a tremendous amount of respect to the job. Nate Thompson has that, Trevor Lewis has that. A Stanley Cup champion in Trevor. They have that respect from the players.”