Vilardi Returning to Lineup on Saturday vs. Ottawa Senators

On February 29th, the Winnipeg Jets faced a setback when Gabriel Vilardi sustained an injury during their match against the Stars in Dallas. However, Vilardi returned to the ice, taking his place on the top line alongside Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor after a month-long absence. After a 15-game hiatus, this return signalled Vilardi’s readiness to rejoin the team, further bolstering Winnipeg’s lineup once more, and showcasing the true potential of this team post the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline.

Related Article: Grading All 32 NHL Teams’ 2024 Trade Deadline

One of the surefire indicators of Vilardi’s preparedness was his availability for media inquiries following the team’s skate. As he fielded questions, he recounted the events of that fateful night in Dallas, revealing a candid exchange with coach Rick Bowness during the second intermission. Vilardi’s honesty shone through as he admitted to recognizing his inability to perform at full capacity.

“There’s no point to my being out there. I wasn’t giving the guys 100%. I couldn’t.”

Gabriel Vilardi to the Media – March 29th, 2024

Bowness’s response to his plea for guidance was a simple yet decisive affirmation, signalling Vilardi to take a seat on the bench for the remainder of the game.

Returning to Winnipeg, Vilardi faced not only the challenges of his injury but also the discovery of an enlarged spleen. Despite medical scrutiny, the cause of this condition remained elusive. Vilardi expressed his frustration.

“Couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t get an answer on that and I don’t think I ever will in terms of why it got so big.”

Gabriel Vilardi – March 29th, 2024

Now, as Vilardi reacclimates to the rigours of the NHL game, he acknowledges the necessity of patience. Around two to two and a half weeks away from the ice and gym meant a period of inactivity, but Vilardi assures that he’s been diligently working to regain his form, pushing himself in recent days. Tomorrow’s matchup against the Senators holds promise as Vilardi confirms his readiness to take to the ice once more, eager to contribute to his team’s pursuit to snap a now five-game losing skid.

The Winnipeg Jets are set to face the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, March 30th at the Canada Life Centre as Gabriel Vilardi returns to the lineup. The puck is set to drop at 6:00 pm CST.

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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