It’s time to cut the cord with Chris Thorburn & Anthony Peluso

At this upcoming seasons training camp, if the Winnipeg Jets cut Anthony Peluso and or Chris Thorburn, would there be a collective social media outburst from Jets faithful? No.

If the two forwards or even one for that matter make their way on to the teams fourth line, expect to hear a big fuss about it. A big deal should be made if one of the two occupies a spot in the teams bottom six, it doesn’t make any sense.

With the large amount of young skilled players knocking on the door for spots, the days of giving plugs like Chris Thorburn and Anthony Peluso spots should be long gone. 

The loyalty that the Jets have provided to the two grinders has always been puzzling. Thorburn has long been a below average fourth liner and has become even less needed as his style of play has become a dying breed in today’s NHL.

Thorburn is in his final year of a 3 year 3.6 million dollar contract and while that isn’t overly pricey in today’s NHL the fact the Jets made a three year commitment to someone like Thorburn to begin with is odd. 

The same goes for Peluso, who is in the final year of his 2 year 1.35 million dollar contract. When Peluso was claimed off waivers by the Jets in 2013, people were raving about his fighting ability. Somehow Peluso has stuck around three seasons with the Jets, what has he brought them? While he has proven himself as a heavyweight fighter, he’s also shown to be a disaster in his own zone and the coach only willing to use him a sparring 3-to-4 minutes a night. 

Fighting is down drastically in the NHL. This past season, there were 0.28 fights per game, that was the first time the fighting average was below 0.30 in 48 years. If the teams’ star player gets hit from behind or is on the receiving end of a cheap shot, the league will be the one handing down the stiff penalties, not the enforcers.

Fisticuffs aren’t needed anymore because the league is protecting their own players better and harsher than ever before; teams do not need to pay players a veterans minimum and take up a roster spot for vigilantism.

The fact each have stuck around for so long is really confusing. What’s even more confusing is that there weren’t reinforcements brought in to bolster the teams fourth line over all these years. How hard could it be to find cheap affordable scoring to give the bottom 6 a facelift?

It took the Jets too long and Winnipeg continued to throw Thorburn and Peluso on the fourth line and make Winnipeg’s fourth line virtually unplayable and unreliable. The Jets became a three line team and in today’s NHL and in any day NHL you need your fourth line to be in more than 3-4 minutes a night.

Newly signed Quinton Howden is a much more skilled and modern day NHL fourth liner and he shouldn’t take a backseat and sit in the press box to make way for either of the two. Marko Dano, Joel Armia, and Andrew Copp have all been more effective players with far greater upside.

Having one enforcer these days is a little odd, but having two? Ridiculous. Yes, Thorburn is used for other things, but without any positive impact. The only enforcing the Jets need is having Dustin Byfuglien laying an electric hit or getting chippy between the whistles (while maintaining composure), that makes an impact and it happens every game and every shift.

No excuses can be made now, the Jets need to cut the cord with the two and say goodbye to the days of Chris Thorburn playing 82 games a year and with Anthony Peluso being on an NHL roster. 

With all the depth the Jets have entering next season, the two shouldn’t even be in the press box, they should be with the Manitoba Moose. The two would provide a solid veteran precense to a Moose team that looks to be very young and inexperienced. If Thorburn was assigned to the Moose, don’t be surprised if the letter ‘C’ is stitched on to his chest. Thorburn has a reputation as a leader and a strong voice in the locker room and having him and Peluso to show the younger guys the way could go a long way for the Jets.

The Jets have made far too long commitments to the two and even though each only have a year remaining on their deal, it’s time to take them out of the fold. Having a fourth line that you can trust and that can play up to ten minutes a night makes a difference and can help take pressure of the teams top three lines. Thorburn and Peluso have both showed they can’t make the teams fourth line useful. It’s been time to move on for a while now and even more so heading in to next season, 

Cut the cord.

  • FishWhiskey

    Sad to see a couple of old war horses ready for pasture but the Jets have Niky Ehlers now. He scores goals, has one punch knock out power and does not even have to drop both gloves!

  • t_bison

    Personally, Thorburn & Peluso to the Moose is the best case scenario. They are very good AHL talent and the leadership is something that would be welcomed on the Moose.

  • t_bison

    Good article about two players that time and the evolution of the game has passed them by. Thorburn on the Moose would be great for the young kids as he gives his all. I can see him coaching in the Jets organization when his playing days are over. Its time the Jets start promoting some of their young talent. Jet drafted players like Petan, Liane, Conner, Morrissey, Hellebuyck and Lemieux, (I know he was traded for but he never played a regular season game for Buffalo). They should stop filling their 3rd and 4th lines with players that may have NHL experience but really haven’t shown they are going to push or support the Jets top 2 lines. Everyone says that the Jets have the best talent pool in the league so its time to let them play.

  • t_bison

    Certainly no need for Pelusso. Thorburn is acceptable as a 13th skater only because the place for a Thorburn type player is NOT QUITE obsolete. I would hope that the league will take care of those targeting skilled players and dishing out head shots and hit from behind. But until they are consistent in doing so, you need a Thorburn type as a deterrent. How well did the Dept. Of Player Safety handle Dan Carcillo’s attack on Matthieu Perreault????

  • Dr. Rocktopus

    I’d like to nominate this article for the “Blatantly Obvious Thing That We’re Somehow Still Worried Jets Management Won’t Get Right” Award.

    Pretty sure you’re up against that article about the goaltending situation from a few days ago. Pretty fierce competition for the BOTTWSSWJMWGR this year.

  • FishWhiskey

    I wish it wasn’t so but after watching Cory Perry intentionally injure Patrik Laine at the World Championships I could understand if the Jets decide to keep an enforcer on staff. I suspect every goon in the NHL is going to have a go at Laine.

    For me at least, another year of Peluso would be money well spent if it helps keep the kids safe and I could get to see Cory Perry pummled into a skid mark on the pages of hockey history.