The Winnipeg Jets have moved injured defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to the team’s Long-Term Injured Reserve. The veteran blueliner had been missing from the lineup since blocking a John Tavares shot that ended up breaking a bone in his hand.
This weekend, Jets head coach Paul Maurice indicated that Beaulieu had also been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury – a torn labrum – to which he and the team felt surgery at this time was the best option for a proper recovery.
“We all decided it needed to get done,” Maurice told reporters. “It was a good surgery. Expect a full recovery, but he will be done for the remainder of the season… Those things are tough rehabs and take a long time, but we believe that when he’s done it, he’s going to be back, and he deserves that right.”
Under contract through the 2021-22 season, Beaulieu joined the Jets by way of a trade from Buffalo at the 2019 trade deadline. Unfortunately, he was only able to participate in 38 contests for Winnipeg in 2019-20. And has now had his 2020-21 season cut short.
“Three broken bones last year, another one this year, the shoulder,” Maurice added. “Scratching and clawing to kinda be a player for us. He’s a really important part of that room because of it, right. The one thing we know about Beau is that he’s not going to milk it. He’s going to be back the day he’s supposed to be back, and ready to play for sure.”
The 28-year-old has just one assist in 25 games played this season. In his career, Beaulieu has put up 12 goals and 78 assists for 90 career points in 395 games split between the Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets.
His contract is now listed on the team’s Long-Term Injured Reserve category, opening the door for additional room in a potential trade deadline deal for GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. Currently hosting Bryan Little’s $3.5 million in salary, the Jets’ LTIR now also includes Beaulieu’s $1.25 million, for a total of $4.75 million.
With the April 12 trade deadline fast approaching, Chevy and Co. will be sure to extend all feelers to which they believe will help the team move towards a long and prosperous playoff run.