By Carter Brooks
Photos by James Carey Lauder and Terry Lee
The Winnipeg Jets have rid themselves of regular press box frequenter Marko Dano.
On Thursday, it was announced that the Columbus Blue Jackets had signed Dano to a one-year, two-way contract for the upcoming season, worth $800K at the NHL level, and $300K if spent in the minors.
Despite having been given every opportunity to cement himself a place in the Jets' lineup, the now 24-year-old Czech product was unable to form a solid bond with Head Coach Paul Maurice between trips to and from the Manitoba Moose dressing room and Bell MTS Place press box.
After once again finding himself sitting comfortably in the Jets' press box to begin the 2018-19 season, Dano requested Winnipeg to either trade him or place him on Waivers for the hope of gaining a fresh start in a new city. Dano's request was answered as the Jets placed him on Waivers on October 15th.
The following day, Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche claimed the rights to Dano - an experiment that did not last long… a little over 30 days to be exact. The Avs put Dano back on Waivers, where Winnipeg took him right back. Dano dressed in eight games for Colorado, collecting seven penalty minutes, zero points, three shots on goal and a -1 rating in an average of roughly 7:18 of ice time for the Avs.
Over the past four seasons in Winnipeg, Dano has been in the Jets' lineup 21, 38, 23 and 0 times respectively. In those 82 games, he registered 10 goals and 22 points. Dano had 12 goals and 30 points in 51 games with the Moose.
Some may remember Dano with the Columbus Blue Jackets - whom he was originally drafted by 27th overall in 2013 - or the Chicago Blackhawks. Dano was a key cog in the Andrew Ladd/Chicago Blackhawks trade back in February of 2016. At this point, the only piece remaining with Winnipeg from the Ladd trade is defensive prospect Logan Stanley.
Beginning his career in Columbus, Dano put up a stellar eight goals and 21 points in 35 games with the Blue Jackets. He then found himself buried deep on a strong Chicago squad that saw him only register two points in 13 games before being dealt to Winnipeg.
After putting in work to get in better shape the past year, Dano will look to bounce back mightily in Columbus - a town in which he earlier found success. He currently has 19 goals and 45 points in 138 career NHL games.