Short list of mail this week and the late delivery of the mail allows us to answer a question posed to us stemming from news earlier on Monday..
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GordJets asks: Can you possibly see Brendan Lemieux playing way onto team next year and at whose expense?
As solid as a pre-season rookie camp as Lemieux had and much as he won fans over during his two pre-season games and for as good a junior season as he’s had, I don’t see Brendan making the Jets next season. You will see him at MTS as a member of the Moose for sure, but he’d have to have an exceptional camp next season and be virtually mistake free in any of his pre-season games to have a real chance.
The Jets have so many promising rookies that I think would get looks ahead of Lemieux. Petan.. Lipon.. Connor.. And if the Jets get a top 3 pick then you have to imagine who they get in the 2016 draft may get a strong look as well.
But suppose he does have that kind of preseason, who exactly does he replace? Matt Halischuk is a UFA at the end of this season and I doubt the Jets bring him back no matter what the situation is. Could he replace Antony Peluso?
We’d loke to say he could maybe replace a Chris Thorburn, but let’s be honest Thor isn’t going anywhere.
Kyle asks: Seems like we’ve seen some fairly notable names go through waivers and not get claimed, do you think the Jets can send Michael Hutchinson down to the AHL and not have him claimed?
I honestly feel like there is a better than 90 percent chance that Hutch would be claimed if the Jets put him on waivers. Despite his struggles this season, 25 year old goaltending prospects aren’t an easy find and there would have to be at least 5 or 6 teams that could easily use him on their roster right now.
The smartest move the Jets can make – especially given how sour the season has turned over this last home stand – is to send Hellebuyck back down to the AHL and ride out the rest of the season with Hutch and Pavs and then wait until the summer when both have a little bit more trade value because at this point I don’t think either of them has value. Pavs because of his contract, Hutch because teams know the Jets may just put him on waivers anyway,
Of course the counter argument to that is that there may be a team in need of a goaltending prospect that knows it would get beat out on a waiver claim, so they make an offer to the Jets…
After the all-star game once Pavs comes off IR, it will be very interesting to see what direction Chevy goes, but I don’t think putting Hutch on waivers with the hopes that he clears is even close to a good option.
Jesse asks: How perfect of a comparable is Barkov when considering Scheifele’s next contract?
Jets fans may have a strong indication of just what a new Mark Scheifele contract will look like after Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers signed a six year deal on Monday worth 35.4 million
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) January 25, 2016
The deal eliminates the often sought after “bridge deal” and instead keeps him as a Panther two seasons beyond the point he would have become an unrestricted free agent.
Barkov has had a pretty decent season so far in his third year scoring 12 goals and 30 points in 38 games played. He had 16 goals last season in 71 games played. Scheifele meanwhile is at 12 goals and 23 points in 37 games played and is also in his third season in the NHL.
But a deeper look at their numbers suggest Scheifele might have a bit of an edge on Barkov…
The contract is a risk for the Panthers and is based on the idea that Barkov becomes a lot more than a borderline 20 goal guy. You’d hate to be a team paying 5 to 7 million a year for the current production he’s putting out now, which is why most teams like that 3 or 4 year bridge deal that does take a player to the age of 27 when they become a UFA, but you’re also not having to pay more than you would to keep a player any time beyond those lucrative UFA years. But the Panthers needed to make a statement that they are committed to the future – which Barkov is easily a part of – and can’t risk losing a kid entering his prime the moment he becomes a UFA.
Not unlike the Jets. A deal like this would be pretty smart for Winnipeg.