Monday, 3 March 2014

This years trade deadline, what will the Jets do?

So we didn't see this coming, the Jets go into the NHL trade competing for a playoff position. Winnipeg has gone on a historic run under new coach Paul Maurice and as a result, are close to the dance. Which brings us to the new problem, what to do with all those unrestricted free agents who can walk and do they have the depth to add anything this Wednesday?  

Its been widely reported that the Jets are going to build through the draft and at this point in time, they do not have enough quality depth in their system. The have a decent NHL team and they have a decent AHL team, and some players outside of those two leagues. What they don't have is the luxury of trading picks and prospects to improve their current roster. With that being said, I really don't know what they would target anyway. The biggest challenge they face is whether or not they want to let all of the UFA's walk in July. 

However, lets play devils advocate and say that they are going to be active on Wednesday. What pieces do they have to play with and what might they target? We are going to assume that Mark Stuart, Olli Jokinen, and Devin Setoguchi are staying put for the time being. Of all three, I would want to retain Stuart but I think the only realistic one at this point is Jokinen. So what pieces might be in play? 

Dustin Byfuglien - If the Jets are going to continue to play him as a 3rd line winger, he is too expensive. Also as I have said before, he is far more valuable as a trade chip than a depth winger. There are very few impact defensemen available with term this time of year and I think the Jets could obtain 2 or 3 impact pieces to help now and in the future. This could happen. Has two years remaining after this year at 5,200,000 per season. Reasonable for a top 2 D man, not for a 3rd line winger. 

Alex Burmistrov - Remember him? Despite what your buddy is telling you, he cannot play in the NHL this year unless he signs and then clears waivers which won't happen. I'm not sure he is in the Jets plans, wants to return to the NHL, wants to return to Winnipeg, or they want him back. A contending team will not want him now, but some of the bottom teams may take a shot at him. The kid has great talent but shouldn't have been in the NHL as early as he was. He still hasn't learned the north/south game and playing in the KHL wont help that.

Paul Postma - He's just getting healthy again and I'm not certain he's in the Jets plans moving forward. He has a great AHL resume and maybe other teams see something of value there. If the Jets are willing to move him, there would be a market.

Zach Redmond - Like Postma, there would be a market for him as well. It's been a slow recovery from that horrific injury, but I see him as the replacement for Stuart next year if they lose him. They wont trade both he and Postma though...

The rumours continue to swirl on Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd. Frankly I see that as total garbage but I guess its worth mentioning at this point. Both players would command a king's ransom but I don't see how trading each player moves your program forward. I don't expect any players on their current pro roster moving except the players mentioned.

They will not trade any picks or current prospects for short term rental. They simply can't afford to do that. My prediction? Nothing will happen of substance. I don't see them selling and I certainly don't see them buying.

Now if they can just stay on this magic run... and re-sign the coach!

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