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The Unknown Poster

Another Loss Yet Same Old Questions

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Good article by Peter Tessier from the sometimes questionable Hockeybuzz.com

 

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Peter-Tessier/Another-Loss-yet-Same-Old-Questions/161/58910

 

Old questions still remain

You can dissect the loss to Dallas all you want. A friendlier crossbar to Kane, a better stop on the first PP goal, some puck luck here, a bounce there... all of it could have changed the course of the game. It could have changed the Jets fortunes for this season but in reality the writing was on the wall after Saturday; this was going to be another post season miss for the franchise, the seventh consecutive one.

First the positives.

Eric O'Dell was probably the best Jet on the ice and did a lot of things that had twitter buzzing about his play. In this writer's opinion he has earned a longer look with the club and if the Jets are true to developing the future it's worth looking at that future now.

Bryan Little was positive in the face off circle.

Dustin Byfuglien once again showed what kind of dynamic player he can be. His value may be the highest it's ever been to this team, and in the trade market.

Al Montoya had a good game after the first two goal while fighting the puck. He came back and made the saves when necessary and gave the Jets a chance to get back in it, which they did on Little's power play marker late in the third.

Now the Questions.

When looking at this season in comparison to the previous three it appears the Jets cannot consistently get something going they desperately need, luck. Is it true 'hockey god' luck, no it's general puck luck, variance or chance. At the root level, as has been written about in many places by folks smarter than yours truly, it's about having a better quality of player through the roster.

Which leads to the question that seems to arrive this time every season, what can Chevy do to make this team better?

Is it too early to answer than question? Yes, but it's not too early to at least cut open the corpse that is the Winnipeg Jets 2013-14 season. The fork is in the meat and it's saying 'done' even
though there are a few more games to play.

You have to consider the long term because that is where the trends are. If you go back and look at the Jets/Thrashers seasons in a month by month view you will see that the team rarely puts together any string of success above .500 longer than a month. That's what the collective story says after 7 seasons of not making the post season.

In recent Jets history players such as, Glass, Oduya, Antropov, Wellwood, Hainsey, Stapelton, Miettinen, Fehr and Brumistrov have all been moved away. In came Jokinen, Frolik, Tangradi, Setoguchi, Pardy, Ellerby, Clitsome, Haslischuk and Peluso.

It's hindsight now but that's how we judge, by what's happened, the results. The results have not changed. This team is in the exact same position it was in last year, the year before, and before that and so on.

As has been pointed out numerous times, Jets GM Kevin Chevaldayoff has yet to make a one-for-one or player for players deal in his tenure. While he has had some success with players such as Scheifele and Trouba being foundation players, one wonders if he is going to 'draft' his way to success, the Oilers model.

That's his right to do so and the future may be much brighter that way but something with his moves does not add up to that strategy. Acquiring Setoguchi and not selling anything at the trade deadline to recoup something, no matter how small, for another lost season. Adding Grant Clitsome for 3 years at quite the premium and of course, those three big extensions to his key RFAs last summer. Is this planning for the future or hoping for the best while the future comes?

So here they are, the Jets and their GM, at another cross roads but this time just a bit earlier than previous seasons since moving to Winnipeg. Here we are looking at the still fresh corpse asking the same questions again. At some point Jets fans are going to get tired of the status quo, the continued lack of 'apparent' direction.

The off-season now sets up for something a bit different than many had hoped. It's one of continued lingering doubt and that's probably not a safe place for any GM, especially one without a signed coach for next season. The goalie tandem is of paramount concern and no longer a statistical discussion point amongst the more hearty bloggers and fans. The depth of the forwards is challenged openly as is that of the defense, not to mention the 'core' of the team.

Even the idea that Evander Kane may be dangled on the draft floor come June seems to be something media accepts as reality, with fans reluctantly accepting if not agreeing. A move/option some thought of as so radical, that move out of mediocrity is taking a 30 goal scorer off the team.

Think of this scenario, what if the return for Kane does not pan out? Why is the idea of moving him any less risky than buying out Pavelec? Kane is stepping into his prime and with a rookie centre who kept his name in the Calder conversation until his injury. Is it that there would be an immediate return for Kane and only a hope of improving on Pavelec in the open market? It's about weighing risk and one question which has not been asked is how does the return on Kane (should he be on the market) measure to not having a 30 goal scorer? It's really no different than what happens if you can't replace Pavelec?

Yet the fear of a void seems to hold many back from saying there could and can be a plan without Pavelec in place. Would there not be one in the event Kane is not a Jet?

Is there a plan if Paul Maurice does not elect to come back to Winnipeg?

What about Michael Frolik, a player who is best friends and shares the same agent as Pavelec and Halak- a goalie some say Chevy should target?

In fact there may be more and larger questions this off season than in the past two for this team. Now we, and everyone else, can say with some confidence the Jets are not more than the sum of their parts, nor are they going to be soon. Change the coach, switch out the accessories, add two promising draft picks to the roster, and the song remains the same.

The questions are a bit harder and in number, but more troubling is the ones that matter seem to point to a specific place. That place is what many feel is the heart and soul of this team. Is Chevy able to perform surgery this off season, and make give this group a new vital organ or two?

It's the same old questions again. Probably time some one at least answers for that.

 

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My opinion is the Jets need to trade a major asset to bring in the kind of pieces that can help them now and in the future.

 

We can have this core play together for ten years and win nothing.  If we "build through the draft" (which is 90% of what we should be doing), time will run out on a guy like Buff.

 

I lean towards trading Buff but Im open to trading Kane.  And the "trade Bogo" peeps are beginning to have merit.

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So - the GM makes some moves that make them better now - the team finishes 7th or 8th - makes a first round exit

 

To achieve that you've probably given up some future talent

 

Then what?

Well, that is the identity the Jets have to figure out. But staying safe & being a .500 team isn't the answer either. 

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I like reading the free press comments from all the "fans" they are usually hilarious and somehow expect that we should trade a mediocre player and in return get a top 5 player and that the only reason the Jets have not done this is because Chevy is to scared to pull the trigger. 

 

I think Chevy is doing a FANTASTIC job so far , his draft picks are mostly doing great (Sutter the only real bust)  and the shedding of the dead weight guys over the years and retaining the promising young guys has been A plus so far.     

 

I wish Winnipeg *fans* had some patience... the team they acquired was a complete mess and had zero prospects and not many assets.  

 

The team has some fantastic guys who will be NHL ready in a few years and with the current group of young guys we have it will be a very good mix.   

 

 

The only players this team should think of moving I think would be Kane and Pavelec and nobody else.    I'd like the team to give Kane one more season before righting him off....  the guy doesn't seem to be progressing and aside from skating fast and wiping out in the corner he really doesn't do much aside from taking half ass shots and missing the net when he is open.      

 

I think Jets should stay the course and the fans should give them at least 2 more seasons before expecting NHL Playoff caliber team.    

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The one trade we heard the Jets were working on at the deadline was Gooch and Thorburn to San Jose for three players that would have been helpful depth pieces.  I would have made that move.  I think it didnt happen because San Jose ended up with a better player and Thorburn got hurt the night before the deadline.

 

Jokinen likely could have been traded to a contender but with the Jets fighting for a playoff spot and Scheif hurt, they simply couldnt have let him go.  Chevy had very little to work with at the deadline without giving up significant assets.  And as stated, we might not like to say this, but should the Jets have traded assets for a chance to make the playoffs now only to get ousted in 5 games?  Yes, anything can happen in the playoffs but you dont gamble at this stage of the Jets' development.

 

You get far more suiters and far more leverage if you trade in the summer.

 

Chevy has drastically increased the prospect pool of the Jets.  He signed our "core" to long term deals.  He brought in Jokinen, Gooch, Frolik and a host of bottom six depth players.  Frolik was probably his best buy.

 

I agree in patience.  But I believe we have to trade a core piece this summer to give us the pieces we need to win, not only next season but for the next ten seasons.

 

Buff: My choice for the guy to trade.  Here's why.  His value is extremely high to other teams.  He might have the most value on the Jets (between him and Kane).  Teams salivate at the prospect of adding a player like Buff.  There is no other player like him in the league.  That might be a reason to keep him but I disagree.  Unless he has a major change of heart, he doesnt want to play forward.  There is no place for him as a D-man on the Jets outside the power play.  If he doesnt want to play forward, he isnt going to re-sign here.  As good as he is, if he doesnt fit in to the Jets way of thinking, and his value is so high and his contract is good, trade him.  By the time the Jets are a top team through the draft, Buff will be long in the tooth.  You get a top six, a prospect, a pick and maybe a depth guy for him in the summer.  We also would free up money.  While the Jets make a profit and are near the cap now, Buff's money might buy us 2-3 good players that will help us.

 

Kane: I'd hate to see him go.  Far too much skill and potential.  But he seems to be having trouble advancing on this team.  Its not all his fault - he hasnt had the talent he needs.  Jokinen and Kane have zero chemistry.  Scheif and Kane were very good together and there's reason for optimism with that pairing especially as Scheif gets better.  Rumours are rumours but *if* Kane is not a good team guy and *if* Kane would prefer to play somewhere else, cash in his value while its still very high.  A good deal would likely be to a team with their own highly touted young player that needs a change of scenery plus a pick and/or prospect.

 

Bogo: Struggled a lot this year.  Really took a step back.  Possibly due to playing the off-side with rookie Trouba to start the season.  In an uncomfortable position possibly over-compensating to help Trouba might have tripped him up and he's had trouble recovering.  His youth and contract would bring in a strong return including possibly a top six (or mid six) and 3/4 D man.  Despite defensive struggles, Jets are strong on D.  Enstrom, while small, is a very smart, very effective player.  I liken him to Teepo in that no one really talks about him and he isnt flashy but you feel better with him back there.  Trouba is going to be a #1 D man in this league.  Stuart is either a good 3/4 or a #2 with a guy like Trouba.  Josh Morrisey is likely a top two D, though it might take a couple of years.  With Buff on forward and if Bogo is traded, we're left with more hard-working journeymen type D with potential coming up.  Not an enviable position but not bad.  I wouldnt trade Bogo though.  I think in a better system he rebounds big time next year and he and Trouba will anchor this D for the next 10-15 years.

 

Pavs: I was a devout "NO" to thoughts that he might need to go.  I believed in him.  But the numbers dont lie.  I dont think his contract is bad but Im also not sure what teams would target him.  Im intrigued by James Reimer who really needs a change of scenery in Toronto.  He's an RFA I believe and Im sure TO would trade his rights.  His situation probably results in a cap friendly contract.  We have a couple of excellent goalie prospects working their way up.

 

Just my two cents.

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Buff: My choice for the guy to trade.  Here's why.  His value is extremely high to other teams.  He might have the most value on the Jets (between him and Kane).  Teams salivate at the prospect of adding a player like Buff.  There is no other player like him in the league.  That might be a reason to keep him but I disagree.  Unless he has a major change of heart, he doesnt want to play forward.  There is no place for him as a D-man on the Jets outside the power play.  If he doesnt want to play forward, he isnt going to re-sign here.  As good as he is, if he doesnt fit in to the Jets way of thinking, and his value is so high and his contract is good, trade him.  By the time the Jets are a top team through the draft, Buff will be long in the tooth.  You get a top six, a prospect, a pick and maybe a depth guy for him in the summer.  We also would free up money.  While the Jets make a profit and are near the cap now, Buff's money might buy us 2-3 good players that will help us.

You over estimate his value around the league. The same reason you'd trade him are the same reasons other teams won't pay a premium for him. Is he a defenceman? Is he a forward? Is he going to show up in shape? He is inconsistent, he has a big contract... He's the kind of guy teams would take a chance on for the right price, but no one is going to pay big to get the guy. 

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Chevy did nothing at the trade deadline which is what he always does. He thought he had a playoff team with the players he had. Wrong. Asking for patience is getting long in the tooth. 

They need far more than just one player. 

Obviously, current goal-tending is just average. Even a giant cereal box would block 85% of shots in typical NHL contests so a guy with a 89.5 avg. like Pavelec isn't gonna get it done.

How many years can we still keep calling Evander Kane - the next one or The Natural?

Bogosian has regressed under the current regime.

 

Paul Maurice is a very good coach but I'm not so sure he wants to be locked up for the next 4 or 5 years trying to work the whip on a deficient AHL/sub NHL roster. Also don't like Jets coaching staff w/ Huddy and Pasquale Dupuis.

 

I do like Keith McCambridge on the rock.

 

Love Schiefele and Trouba but surrounding them with AHL quality players isn't gonna get it done.

 

The Jets have nothing left in the tank and the only good thing is they may drop enough in standings to give their GM a better 1st round pick - maybe #4 to #7 instead of #9 to #12. But I suspect they'll win enough games once officially eliminated to pick #7.

 

Like iso I'm also really miffed about Kevin Chevyldayoff. Clean cut, really good verbiage to the public, gets along well with owner. Arrow smooth and ram-rod straight. Just not doing much. A slicker version of Joe Mack if you will. Which instantly spells trouble!

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Why do people ***** about Kane not doing enough exactly? He's already shown himself to be a 30 goal scorer what more do you actually expect from the kid? Maybe it's not him that's a problem but peoples expectations of him....

 

As for Bogosian, same deal. People are still caught up in him being compared so closely to Drew Doughty in their draft years. Bogosian is what he is, which is a decent top 4 defenseman. Stop expecting him to turn into that top guy because at this point it's clear he won't get to that level. 

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Buff: My choice for the guy to trade.  Here's why.  His value is extremely high to other teams.  He might have the most value on the Jets (between him and Kane).  Teams salivate at the prospect of adding a player like Buff.  There is no other player like him in the league.  That might be a reason to keep him but I disagree.  Unless he has a major change of heart, he doesnt want to play forward.  There is no place for him as a D-man on the Jets outside the power play.  If he doesnt want to play forward, he isnt going to re-sign here.  As good as he is, if he doesnt fit in to the Jets way of thinking, and his value is so high and his contract is good, trade him.  By the time the Jets are a top team through the draft, Buff will be long in the tooth.  You get a top six, a prospect, a pick and maybe a depth guy for him in the summer.  We also would free up money.  While the Jets make a profit and are near the cap now, Buff's money might buy us 2-3 good players that will help us.

You over estimate his value around the league. The same reason you'd trade him are the same reasons other teams won't pay a premium for him. Is he a defenceman? Is he a forward? Is he going to show up in shape? He is inconsistent, he has a big contract... He's the kind of guy teams would take a chance on for the right price, but no one is going to pay big to get the guy. 

 

Honestly, I disagree.  I've had this debate before.  In Winnipeg we are always of two minds: we can trade bottom six guys for top six guys or no one wants our players.  All things being equal Buff is a superstar player.  He's really settled in as a very good forward, top six for sure with a propensity for taking over games at will.  But I dont believe his style/age/fitness fit in with *this* team.  He's a "missing piece" type of player.  He's the guy a top team gets to put them over the top.  We're not there yet, so his talent is wasted here.

 

I believe he's easily nets a top six winger, pick and prospect.  We maybe throw in a higher pick and a less desirable prospect to make it all work but we're net positive on any trade at this point.

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Chevy did nothing at the trade deadline which is what he always does. He thought he had a playoff team with the players he had. Wrong. Asking for patience is getting long in the tooth. 

They need far more than just one player. 

Obviously, current goal-tending is just average. Even a giant cereal box would block 85% of shots in typical NHL contests so a guy with a 89.5 avg. like Pavelec isn't gonna get it done.

How many years can we still keep calling Evander Kane - the next one or The Natural?

Bogosian has regressed under the current regime.

 

Paul Maurice is a very good coach but I'm not so sure he wants to be locked up for the next 4 or 5 years trying to work the whip on a deficient AHL/sub NHL roster. Also don't like Jets coaching staff w/ Huddy and Pasquale Dupuis.

 

I do like Keith McCambridge on the rock.

 

Love Schiefele and Trouba but surrounding them with AHL quality players isn't gonna get it done.

 

The Jets have nothing left in the tank and the only good thing is they may drop enough in standings to give their GM a better 1st round pick - maybe #4 to #7 instead of #9 to #12. But I suspect they'll win enough games once officially eliminated to pick #7.

 

Like iso I'm also really miffed about Kevin Chevyldayoff. Clean cut, really good verbiage to the public, gets along well with owner. Arrow smooth and ram-rod straight. Just not doing much. A slicker version of Joe Mack if you will. Which instantly spells trouble!

 

Disagree.  Comparisons to Joe Mack are ludicrous.  As Mike said, this was in many ways a crappy expansion team when TN bought it.  They literally had almost nothing in the cupboard for prospects.  He's drastically improved our prospect pool.  he signed every single core guy to long term deals when everyone said no player would every sign here.  He's brought in bottom six guys for depth that have been effective.  Yes, we certainly need BETTER bottom six depth but with nothing available, to go out and get Wright, Peluso, Tangradi...he has done a good job of keeping our heads above water.

 

We need a top six winger.  We need bottom six depth and we need #4-#6 level D men.  We *maybe* need a new goalie but Im not sure yet.

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Buff: My choice for the guy to trade.  Here's why.  His value is extremely high to other teams.  He might have the most value on the Jets (between him and Kane).  Teams salivate at the prospect of adding a player like Buff.  There is no other player like him in the league.  That might be a reason to keep him but I disagree.  Unless he has a major change of heart, he doesnt want to play forward.  There is no place for him as a D-man on the Jets outside the power play.  If he doesnt want to play forward, he isnt going to re-sign here.  As good as he is, if he doesnt fit in to the Jets way of thinking, and his value is so high and his contract is good, trade him.  By the time the Jets are a top team through the draft, Buff will be long in the tooth.  You get a top six, a prospect, a pick and maybe a depth guy for him in the summer.  We also would free up money.  While the Jets make a profit and are near the cap now, Buff's money might buy us 2-3 good players that will help us.

You over estimate his value around the league. The same reason you'd trade him are the same reasons other teams won't pay a premium for him. Is he a defenceman? Is he a forward? Is he going to show up in shape? He is inconsistent, he has a big contract... He's the kind of guy teams would take a chance on for the right price, but no one is going to pay big to get the guy. 

 

Honestly, I disagree.  I've had this debate before.  In Winnipeg we are always of two minds: we can trade bottom six guys for top six guys or no one wants our players.  All things being equal Buff is a superstar player.  He's really settled in as a very good forward, top six for sure with a propensity for taking over games at will.  But I dont believe his style/age/fitness fit in with *this* team.  He's a "missing piece" type of player.  He's the guy a top team gets to put them over the top.  We're not there yet, so his talent is wasted here.

 

I believe he's easily nets a top six winger, pick and prospect.  We maybe throw in a higher pick and a less desirable prospect to make it all work but we're net positive on any trade at this point.

 

Buff is a guy who CAN dominate, but not all the time. He is absolutely not a superstar. He can look like it at times but the inconsistency and questions about his work ethic and whether he's going to be in shape or not when training camp rolls around is what prevents other teams from paying the price you think you can get. GMs want consistency above all else. They don't want to have to guess what they're going to get out of a player. WIth a guy like this who has those consistency issues it's not something GMs will pay a premium for. They'll take a chance for a low price, but not for the big payment you expect. 

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Someone has to go.  We're up against the cap and badely need another top six winger, bottom six depth and blue line help.

 

Lets put it this way, as good as Buff is, if it takes five years for the Jets to compete (and by that I dont mean make the playoffs because I believe they will next year, but I mean be able to win a couple of rounds), where is Buff in five years?  If he doesnt want to play forward then he isn't re-signing here anyway so why lose him for nothing?  If he stays, he's older (and that age is enhanced with a guy of his size and fitness) and isnt contributing to a playoff run in five years like he can contribute now.  Thats why you trade him.

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Kane, I'd keep. Maturity may do him wonders.

Not much else on this team that the Jets can afford to let go, and still be worth much.
That leaves Buff.
He's an intriguing character and player and would be worth more on the trading block than for long term development…if the price is right.
 
I'm with Cheveldayoff  in the 'wait and develop corner'.
If only it would take two years to be contender, I'd be thrilled. 
Two years to wait, to last ten years in the playoff mode, and then some, would be 'Detroitish' and would be well worth it.

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That San Jose deal was all Lawless making up something out of nothing.... he was the only one "reporting it".   The same goes with his zany idea that we trade Pav for Cam Ward and swallow Wards massive 6.5 million a year cap hit contract which would be ludicrous.   

 

The Jets are in a good position, we will dump Ollie's 4.5 million contract...    we have  several NHL level guys coming up the ranks with  Morrissey, Petan ,  Helleybuck (sp?) , Lowry,  Kosmachuk , Kichton.....   their is no superstars the Jets can dump a boatload of cash on and if one is available in a year or two that would be when they should attempt to sign them.   

 

I like the direction this club is going.... dumping the crap big salary guys and putting that money to long term contracts on guys who have upside and only spending limited money on short term guys as fillers.   The only *mistakes* they have made have been Pav and Olli (based on his pay)...

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