Jets Nation Air Mail: Answering Someone Else’s Questions


Look, I get it. We’ve just flipped the calendar over to September and while the 2015-16 NHL season is starting to loom on the horizon, many aren’t into quite into it yet. Baseball is into it’s pennant races, football both pro and college is starting up south-of-the-border while football here is just past the mid-way point.

No one is really thinking that much about hockey as evidenced by the lack of response to our call out for questions to Air Mail.

But the quest to answer questions on a weekly basis will not let this minor detail stand which is why after entering in the phrase: “Common Winnipeg Jets Questions” into the Google machine, I’ll answer three questions I came across that were asked in April…

More to the point, I’ll look into the three questions James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail (and friend of hockey bloggers everywhere) asked back in April just after the Jets suffered their four game sweep at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks:

What do they do in goal?

Each of the last three summers there has been a clamoring for the Jets to move on from Ondrej Pavelec be it via a trade or a buyout and each fall the Jets go into camp with Pavs all but set as the number one guy. The difference going into camp this year is that Pavelec at least has some decent numbers from the previous season (even if they were boosted by three straight shutouts to end the regular season) to at least support such a claim.

But there was a hope be it ever so slight that the Jets would “sell high” on Pavelec and move forward with either a combination of Michael Hutchinson and Connor Hellebuyck (who if you remember had a fantastic showing at the World Championships) or bring in a free agent to pair up with Hutch while Hellebuyck honed his craft in the AHL for a year.

The Jets however didn’t make a move at all which pretty much convinced me that if they didn’t move Pavelec now, they might not ever. If anything, the Jets – depending on how the season goes of course – may end up trading Hutchinson instead. That’s my gut feeling anyway.

Hellebuyck will still have a year left on his entry level contract come 2016-17 and I get the sense that he rates higher on the “potential” level for the front office. Also, the return the Jets would get for Hutch at the trade deadline for example, would likely be greater than what they would get for Pavs.

Unless something very dramatic happens (like a consistent sub .900 save percentage) Pavelec is likely your Winnipeg Jets starting goalie for the next two years with Hutch backing up this year and Hellebuyck next.

As for Eric Comrie? He’ll likely play one more year in junior, then follow that up with the Moose the season after that. Beyond 2016-17 is anyone’s guess but I doubt the Jets are in a rush to move him along any quicker than that.

Who stays and who goes on the blueline?

Changes are coming, that we can say for certain. The Jets have five current roster players signed to contracts that go beyond this upcoming season (Myers, Stuart, Enstrom, Postma & Chariot), a sixth who is an RFA (Trouba) and don’t forget about Josh Morrissey who will probably factor into lineup consideration come 2016-17.

Before the summer if you asked most fans, they would have said Dustin Byfuglien was the odd-man out and likely to be traded away, but to me the Mark Giordano deal has changed things.

Where we might have expected Dustin to be looking for a contract in the seven to eight million per year range, Giordano’s 6.75 million AVV deal might keep Buff at the 6.5 to 7.5 range which is a bit more equitable for the Jets to handle. When you also consider what kind of impact Byfuglien has on this team it starts becoming even more obvious that the answer isn’t to trade Buff.

Meanwhile, Tobias Enstrom is a steady and reliable enough defenseman and beyond this season he still has two more seasons left on his very reasonable contract with a cap hit of 5.75 million. Those factors should mean he would fetch a decent return around trade deadline or draft day.

If I had to guess, I’d say Myers, Stuart, Chariot, Trouba and Postma aren’t going anywhere. The Jets will likely try to hammer out a deal with Bufuglien (the kind of start Buff has this season will also determine if this is easier said than done for the Jets) and then move Enstrom to another team.

How ready are the kids to contribute?

Nik Ehlers is clearly the one kid everyone – including Ehlers himself – fully expects to be in the opening day lineup for the Jets. Andrew Copp barring a horrible camp should be on the Jets main roster come October 8th as well.

How much they’ll contribute this season is a big question.

Ehlers and Copp aren’t being brought in to fill top-six forward roles, nor should they expected to be as such. There is a chance Ehlers can see the odd bit of 2nd line and power play duty if things go spectacularly well for him, but don’t bank on it.

Copp’s potential to be a solid two-way player lends itself to a 4th line role with the odd bit of 3rd line time mixed in which would suit the Jets fine.

As for the likes of Nic Petan, Chase De Leo or Joel Armia? It may not matter how ready to contribute they are or aren’t. There isn’t much roster space to fit a kid or two into the lineup and with that in mind, the Winnipeg Jets aren’t likely to rush them into anything especially with the AHL team in the same city so that development can be closely monitored.

  • t_bison

    Our sport reminds them of Nuclear Winter. One for Bogosian, abusing their WOPR:
    I’m the 100th toughest person out here; in the ballpark of Bourne’s estimate of my co-ordination. All rational enough to train; I don’t really belong on the list except I’m a Wpgger mugged repeatedly and injured at work bad enough to be knocked out if I were not capable of compensating by breathing faster and lowering my head automatically. Don’t knock anyone out who is about to fall down is a decent role model. My people fought off the Vikings without help. Flu = 150th. Cold = 101st. No sleep = 300. With Martial Arts training I’m able (might get hurt) to be in the top 9 in a yr. Working out helps a bit; 3 months of Arts is 35. Me one arm is one of the weakest men. Gracie one arm in prime is 50th. Martials Arts are near the top. Some criminals. Don’t piss off anyone on that street, is a gang member nearby in top 2, be 140th in Wpg. One policeman is easy to underestimate but he is expected to be the only officer not to actually need to use a weapon. Is kid who is my worst nightmare because he looks like a minor but is in top 8. With me a shaving knife against an unarmed aggressor = 5th. At my peak same scenario maybe 1st (no reaction to my attack but arrest odds way high). My rusty knife only 3rd. Using what is lying around 150th. Mainly I lack Damphoussean stickfighting; even fencing (armour holes) would help. Of all the people decompressing figuring out small bizs = 3rd or 4th. Oldest in top 500 = 70 yrs old. Top 1000 = 81.
    Youngest in top 500 = 17. Top 1000 = 15 yrs old. J.Chan is 30th now (hit a lot already) no street weapons. 13th with street weapons. 1 or 2 in prime (depends whether someone connects to his head with a punch or kick. T.Abbott 80th now. 2nd with no street weapons (a wrestler might beat him), 8th everyday weapons on street.
    Not being a Byng candidate is why I make this list at all. I’m working on preventing pandemics while except for one sane woman, my building is mentally ill and trying to kick me out. Even though *they* said the protected age should fit 3 (Reserve with untraditional diet sometimes) to 19 (China), I’m letting it be known the SE basement man who tried to arrest me and sent a goon (not in top 1000 despite workout use rabbit punches) has a young gf 8-9pm daily, and the schizo with the screens off across the hall roommates with the flamer fast food has an infant from across the street 6am on weekdays and 3pm on weekends when she is in a little bit a programme for low income kids.

  • t_bison

    Sry, almost forgot. There is no woman here in the top 1000. But in Wpg there is a woman I would know (prize fighter?) who I would beat if at my best but if not, she would likely win. I would likely injure her enough to ruin her career. It is day-to-day whether I crack the top 1000.

  • t_bison

    …they must not get cable. After getting the **** kicked out of me for a few minutes without getting a clean shot at her head, I forget she is a human being (that is how people get arrested except when the police force is corrupt) and go for the worst move unless my intention is not to win but to set an example. Eventually I go for a banned move and she tries to choke me 🙂
    but I am strong enough to give her an eye gouge that more than likely end 1/2 her eyesight. 5% of the time I win but nearly 100% of the time her career ends. Even if we hit it off it would awkward…

  • t_bison

    The thugs who tried to rob me together counting as if one person were 180th. With my antibacterial object it would’ve been a very slight edge to me. One on one I would’ve likely won (best strategy run for a weapon and return) despite their builds: working out helps more if you are co-ordinated (unco-ordinated big arm swinging looks very weak to me). It is hard for me to even walk the 1st week after losing an arm. After a day without sleep, feeling lo and a bit hi too, I’m 2200 in Wpg. I assume there are a lot of historic reasons for a lot of really tough Wpggers. But there is a dropoff due to middle class jobs: people don’t care about fighting anymore.
    The pedophile junkie who thought he could take me didn’t even crack the top 1/2 of men in this one-of-the easiest cities to crack the top 1/2. Indeed, a two finger takedown would’ve been possible. One of the people on the list has at least a right hand and knees that can knock me out. I will think I have time to move side-to-side, but nope. My best hope would be to lunge into his eye sockets with both hands which he would think was a thrust for an endurable punch: then he wouldn’t want to fight more. I beat the very quick girl 5% of the time, when I’m not quick, when I maybe blind her. That’s the point: with a knife I kill nearly any MMA and with my eye gouging I ruin their careers. It is only a hobby.
    Officer, I was greeting an old friend who didn’t recognize me and mosquitoes were swarming so I cut them one by one, and another swarm came and landed on him and in the fury of my mosquito killing I accidently got him. I normal thrust 4-5 cuts/sec with one hands and 9 with two. Add one or two at best.
    Apparently the schizophrenic thought he could ambush me with friends and a weapon. It would’ve been easy to block with my hand the 1st stab and kill him and his mentally ill friends would’ve ran away.
    But I now have quiet for learning a month of tech blueprints. I didn’t have to throw a single punch as I never do. He might be the toddler now.

  • t_bison

    Every NHLer is good enough to be in the chain of command save one: T.T. thinks I’m angel.
    70% of Away’s fave sport are. Almost as much Euro hockey. Only 1/4 of CFLers. NFLs is awkwardly thinking I’m an angel. Football needs a way to think off the field (curriculum, maybe abridged Columbia?) and less wonder (god) on the field. Soccer rigged (duh). MLB has been waiting a damn long time for Star Trek prediction to come true.
    Wpg’s Library is 100% loyal. A 1/2 Asian glasses Christian over here librarian has ADD and mild Alzheimers and doesn’t even know it. She uses their cameras to hack my email and tell it to her mentally ill friends. None in top 250. 1-2 weeks moderate activity I again crack Wpg’s top 1000; 500lb linoleum roll in Cgy htting my head and getting yelled at after for being lazy, might have killed me if back of head (not knocked down). Winnipeg is the toughest city on Earth to be top 100. No one over here trains for sports much. The harmless 12 Monkeys tagger wonders what he is doing after hermetic seal post, but in case some of her mentally ill friends seriously harm me, I have made a deal with Near (MLB fan Away cannot effect this): 200 years after on the spot I’m hack-abetted physically-harmed, The Lords of Summer will return. I’m sanely serious. Her redhead co-worker has mild ADD that would barely be noticable without the one who can’t recognize own ADD?!
    I would’ve thought head injuries would make a few NHLers a security risk…hmmm.