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Marko Dano looked like a kid on Christmas morning.
The 23-year-old forward was all smiles at Bell MTS Place today, just an hour after learning his contract had been picked up by the Colorado Avalanche.
The Jets placed Dano on waivers Sunday afternoon, and their Central Division rivals claimed him this morning.
Spotted outside the Jets dressing room prior to practice, a grinning Dano said he was excited to join a new team but politely requested some time to join his new organization before he does interviews.
A spokesman with Colorado said the organization and Dano are in the midst of getting his immigration paperwork in order.
The Avalanche begin a four-game road trip in New York against the Rangers on Tuesday.
“Hockey players want to play and he’s been a great soldier here. He didn’t get in the lineup very often but he was good to have around and a good safety valve for us,” Jets coach Paul Maurice. “We just got to a point we had some players we think either were even with him or ahead of him on the depth chart, and didn’t want to see him go through that agan.
“He gets an opportunity to go and play, and good for him. He’s earned it.”
The Jets (3-2-0) continue a six-game home stand Tuesday when Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers (1-2-0) pay a visit. Connor Hellebuyck will start in the Winnipeg net.
Nic Petan was added to the roster this morning. He had been on an NHL-approved leave of absence following the death of his father last month. With his addition, the Jets needed to swap out one player from their 23-man roster.
Winnipeg could have retained the services of Dano, but instead chose to keep young wingers Brendan Lemieux and Kristian Vesalainen — both waiver exempt — up with the big club instead of assigning one or the other to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.
Vesalainen, in his rookie season, has played all five games but is averaging less than seven minutes of icetime a night on a line with Jack Roslovic and Mathieu Perreault. It looks like Lemieux will replace the 19-year-old Finn against the Oilers, judging by the look of the line rushes at practice this morning.
Dano, 23, is a former first-round selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets (27th overall in 2013). He had short stays in Columbus and Chicago before being dealt to Winnipeg as part of the Andrew Ladd trade in late February 2016.
He’s suited up for just 82 games since, netting 10 goals and 22 points while playing limited fourth-line minutes. Last season, he was a regular healthy scratch, playing just 23 games while scoring twice and adding an assist.
Assistant sports editor
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).