Welcome to the first round table of September! This week we discuss Trouba’s status, the Jets’ special teams and the World Cup of Hockey. I think it’s safe to say, we’re all excited to have hockey back.
Take a read after the break!
How worried are you about the fact that Jacob Trouba has not signed?
Mack: Still not that worried. He’s an RFA, so he has next to no leverage. I’m still hoping the Jets sign him to a long-term contract, rather than just strong-arming their way into a cheap bridge deal. He’ll be suiting up in October.
Art M: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried yet, I’m starting to get a little concerned that a deal isn’t done and that will change to ‘near panic’ for me if camp starts up and he’s not in it. This is a player 29 other teams would love to have. Get it done already.
Garret: I’ve moved from a zero to maybe a one or two out of ten. Takes a while to get to ten with me as I know negotiations are simply just negotiations, especially when Trouba is not the only young RFA in a similar position.
Kyle: I am not all that worried about a deal getting done. Especially with the World Cup starting I think the contract will be on the back burner until the tournament is over. No worries though, he will sign before the season starts.
Cam: I am a little. It’s disconcerting having a young stud defenceman unsigned going into training. The saving grace is, Trouba is at the World Cup of Hockey and is playing with elite NHL talent, instead of practicing with a junior team. There will hopefully be little adjustment, assuming he signs by the time the tournament is finished.
Sammi: I’m slightly concerned, but not really. I know that a deal will get done, and between the start of training camp, the World Cup of Hockey and just preparing for the season, it’s not too easy to sit down and get a deal done right this moment. In the end, I think Trouba is a huge part of this team’s future, and that the Jets understand his significance. A deal will get done – there are other RFA’s out there who have yet to re-sign, and he’s not alone.
Now that we’re close to the season, let’s talk about the Jets’ special teams. What are your ideal penalty killing units and power play units?
Mack: Most interesting question here is where Laine’s big shot is going to fit on the powerplay. Is he ready to step right in onto PP1? Will he play the point, like he is at the World Cup, or slide down to the Ovi spot? My ideal PK unit is for the Jets to stop taking so many god damn penalties.
Art M: I don’t know what my idea PP units look like but I’ve never been a fan of putting forwards back at the point. As it is I felt the PP the last couple of years has worried too much about shots from the point. Let Laine play that “Ovi spot’ as Mack mentions and start working the PP down low. As for the PK, just keep Mark Stuart off it please.
Garret: My ideal power play would be the Jets using eight of their best forwards, four on each unit. Then one defender on the point, Dustin Byfuglien and either Jacob Trouba or Paul Postma on the point for each. Yes, no Tyler Myers. Penalty kill: fast skaters who are decent defensively and no Mark Stuart.
Kyle: The ideal penalty kill consists of any combination of players without Mark Stuart. Really would like to see Trouba getting more minutes as the setup man on the PP and would love to see Petan in the middle with his skill set.
Cam: I would love to see Laine get a ton of time on the powerplay. I think he could really add a new dynamic with his offensive skills. Having a PP forward line of Scheifele, Ehlers and Laine would be pretty killer, in my opinion. For PK, I think it would be good to see Scheifele get a little more time on the PK and reduce Little’s time. But, Shawn Matthias has been successfully utilized on the PK for his previous teams and can also eat a ton of PK minutes. Basically, if the Jets don’t use Thorburn or Stuart on their special teams, they’re going to be laughing.
Sammi: Obviously when it comes to the man advantage, the Jets have a lot of depth and weapons in their arsenal. One of their newest ones is Patrick Laine, and I think that he should get as much power-play time as possible. He’s a big guy with a heavy shot, and he knows how to score goals. Like others say, he reminds me of a Finnish Alex Ovechkin in a lot of ways, and putting him on one of the points, or even alongside Mark Scheifele and company could do a lot of damage. I also believe that Jacob Trouba could generate more offense, given his size, ability and role, as he is able to transition into the role of a puck-moving defender.
When it comes to the PK, I have faith in Scheifele to take on more minutes, and think they should also rely on players like Shawn Matthias who can handle more time. I think that Trouba can also be trusted to provide a lot of help. However, I’d like to see Mark Stuart stay away from the PK, as well as Brian Strait.
Who do you think is going to win the World Cup of Hockey?
Mack: Canada is the obvious favourite, right? The U23 team could be amazing, and I’m not as down on Team USA as many… I’d love to see Russia make some noise but their blueline is *poop emoji*.
Art M: My heart says North America because youth and skill and McDavid, but my head says Canada because age and treachery with the same amount of skill will always beat youth and vigor.
Garret: Canada is easily the favourites, by popular choice, statistical models, and vegas booking lines. I’m cheering for the U23 team though.
Kyle: Don’t count out Finland or Sweden in the tournament. Finland has been on a roll recently in international play and Sweden has some top end talent to lead them through.
Cam: I think Canada will. Too much experience and too much elite talent. However, Team North America will give them a run for their money and I think Sweden will be hard to beat as well.
Sammi: Canada’s the favorite, I get that. I love Canada. But I think Team North America has a lot of talent, and is underestimated by many teams, so I’m going to count on them. Led by McDavid, this team has an entire roster full of skill, on-ice intelligence and energy. They will make a big impact, and I think if they fight hard enough, the U-23 squad can take everyone by surprise.
Do you think the World Cup of Hockey will be beneficial for getting players ready for the 2016-17 season?
Mack: n o p e — an injury to Trouba or Scheifele would be a real issue for the Jets.
Art M: For some yes, for others no. Do “older” guys like Wheeler or Byfuglien need this tournament to get ready? Probably not. Kids like Laine and Scheifele though I feel like there will be at least a little benefit to playing some of the world’s best right off the hop.
Garret: For the most part. Sure some will get injured, but some will be in more game playing shape. I think the latter will outweigh the former, just not for everyone. Too many seasons the Jets have had their important players start slow in terms of outshooting and outscoring the opposition.
Kyle: It will be interesting to see if the guys who played in the World Cup have better starts to the year. I think they will be ahead of everyone else in the first 5-10 games until everyone gets back into their routine. I really like this tournament for the under 23’s because it gives them an extra couple of weeks against high end competition to get them ready for a grueling season.
Cam: Injuries are always a factor, but they can happen in training camp and off season training as well. I am interested to see if players have fatigue issues at the end of the season, though. Practicing for and playing in the tournament adds extra stress and game action on the bodies of the players and could affect the end of season performance. I think the players that the tournament will be super beneficial for are the Sedin twins and Loui Eriksson. They’re slated to be line mates for the Canucks and could develop some insane chemistry. I think of Patrik Laine, who could get used to the physical demands of playing high end talent, but does not know the Jets’ systems. I wonder how quick of an adjustment he will need.
Sammi: Eh. I mean, hockey is hockey, so any organized practice or playing of the sport will definitely help players get back in the kick of things with the season around the corner. However, it does conflict with training camp, and like many worry about, it could be reason for some players to get injured. So… I’ll stick with “Eh.” It’s just even more on-ice practice and preparation for making that jump to the NHL, but it doesn’t necessary help or hinder the players in question.