JN AirMail: February 8, 2016

JNAirMail 2

There is truly no such thing as a stupid question, but stupidity of answers is always up for debate especially here in the Jets Nation Air Mail where I provide you haphazard answers to well thought out questions.

Let us begin..

I’ve suggested a time or two that one guy I think who may end up being a prime candidate to get traded – beyond Ladd and Buff of course – is Tobias Enstrom. I don’t say this because I don’t think he’s a poor defenseman. On the contrary I think he’s worth every penny of his 5.75 million dollar contract. Garret had a great look at what Enstrom has done for this team and how underrated he has been back in November. Enstrom with Tyler Myers has helped cover for a fair number of defensive mistakes Myers has made this season while still providing him freedom to be creative on the offensive side.

(We can save the needed debate about how “good” Myers is when he has the puck for another day.)

That said, I think that his contract and the raises that will needed to be handed out to Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele in the next year makes Enstrom a much bigger trade target than fans realize.

The NMC makes things interesting of course because if a deal is reached, Tobi has to approve it and in the event that he is added to a deal that moves Ladd or Byfuglien, him refusing to accept the trade could possibly blow up a made deal that would see the Jets get return for a pending UFA.

Obviously not ideal.

So is Enstrom a possible trade target? Yes. Would he be packaged in a deal with Ladd or Buff? Perhaps but any talks that the Jets have with a team to do such a deal better have a ‘Plan B’ in case Tobias says “Nej”

Terry H asks: “What have the Jets done in letting Stempniak go and luring Copp here
against the wishes of his NCAA coach instead of letting him mature in
college?”

First let’s talk about Lee Stempniak.

Let’s at least grant that the likelihood that he would lead the Jets in scoring much like he is with the Devils this season wasn’t likely at all. Not impossible sure and you never know, but the Devils and Jets are two differently ran teams. (One look at the standings would tell you that)

But there is no doubt he would have been a fantastic addition to the depth of the Jets forwards and someone who could have easily stepped into a top six role with injuries hitting.

So why did Chevy and the Jets let Stempniak walk and go with Copp?

We can’t say for 100% sure, but it was likely a budget decision and I don’t mean that in terms of savings because Lee is making 850 thousand this season while Copp is at 925 K. They key in this I believe is that Copp is still an RFA after the 16-17 NHL season. Stempniak is not.

I believe Chevy gambled that Copp could fit in to that 3rd line role for the Jets and replace Stepniak and have control of beyond one or two years of his contract be it either to keep him with the team or trade him for other assets should any kids behind Copp be able to step in.

It wasn’t a horrible gamble to make. Copp did have a strong season in Michigan leading the team in goals and he named to the All-Big Ten Second team. When he signed last March, there were plenty of fans and media who thought he could jump right in and do ok.

My personal feeling is Copp could one day develop into a Lee Stempniak type player and given the teammates he’s had to work with (Peluso) he’s done alright for himself. Would an extra year in Michgan have helped?

Hard to say, but he would have looked good on a line with Kyle Connor yes?

The honeymoon is clearly over – has been for a while – and this season (if it hasn’t already) will be considered a massive step back if not outright failure if the Jets don’t reach the playoffs.

That said I don’t think it’s an automatic dismissal for Chevy even if the Jets finish dead last in the league or in the division for that matter. Eye roll all you want, but I think the Jets as an organization are going to stick with the theme of “process” and view last season as being ahead of schedule and this year as a “course correction” of sorts and try to pass off this season merely as part of that process.

“Five year plans” after all are such an arbitrary ideal. Just ask fans in Edmonton.

I think the hype from fans and media of getting a top 3 pick would allow the Jets to quietly stick with Chevy for the summer.

If Jets finish just out of the playoffs as they had in the first three seasons, then it allows the Jets to stick to the “it’s a process” narrative.

The only way I could see where Mark Chipman fires Kevin Cheveldayoff at season’s end is if Ladd and Byfuglien are not traded by March 1st and walk out of Winnipeg as UFAs come July 1st with the Jets having gained nothing in assets.

Chipman has already stated that Ladd and Buff leaving with nothing in return isn’t an option for this club. I believe that’s a firm line Chipman has drawn.

I’m sure many fans hope the same.

  • #12MorrisLukowich

    You’re deluding yourself if you think Cheveldayoff is running this team. He was hand picked by Chipman not because of his skill at gm (LOL!), but because he’s a loyal YES man. Every part of this team goes through Chipman 1st…in that sense Chevy’s position is absolute, but he has all the power of an echo…