Well, the Jets defensive situation just got very interesting. With both Byfuglien and Bogosian set to return (Buff tonight against the Flyers, Bogo as early as Friday against Pittsburgh), Coach Noel is now being forced to make some tough decisions regarding who exactly is going to play on the blue line.
It’s pretty safe to assume that Enstrom, Stuart, and Hainsey aren’t leaving the lineup anytime soon. This means that Redmond, Clitsome, and Postma are the unknown variables.
For now, it looks as if Clitsome is going to be the guy sitting out for Byfuglien tonight against Philadelphia. It seems like a rather obvious choice, judging by the fact that he logs the fewest minutes (13:15/game) and has been rather sheltered defensively by Claude Noel as indicated by his quality of competition numbers at behind the net.
Redmond is the only player on the blue line who has a two-way contract meaning that contract-wise, he would be the logical choice to bump when Bogosian is ready. Statistically though, plucking Redmond out at this point doesn’t make too much sense: he has been averaging over 20 minutes a game and has the best +/- of the three, while facing tougher overall competition.
As reported by Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press, Paul Postma’s name has recently been tossed around in trade rumors in exchange for a forward with moderate upside. That being said, the Jets as a franchise have made it clear that they are structuring this team for the future, so don’t expect them to trade away a promising, relatively inexpensive (he only makes $550,000 this year), young player very openly. Postma has been statistically performing somewhere in between Redmond and Clitsome, and has an absolute cannon from the blue line.
Personally, I would like to see more of Redmond before/if the Jets send him back down to the Ice Caps, so should Bogosian be ready to go on Friday, I believe there is a solid chance that we will see Clitsome placed on waivers. There just isn’t room for him in the lineup anymore, and it is simply not worth the risk to place a player of Postma’s value on waivers.
The situation would become much simpler though, If Chevy does manage to trade Postma or even Hainsey, who could provide a team with veteran leadership going into the playoffs.
This is a problem that many teams in the NHL would love to have, and one that Jets fans should be proud of. Heck, it’s a problem we all might as well get used to, because it is sure to pop up again in a year or two when Jacob Trouba is set and ready to take his skill set to the big leagues.