As the NHL roster freeze ended, the Jets had to get down to 23 skaters before mid-afternoon. The Jets trimmed their roster by re-assigning forwards Andrew Copp and Brandon Tanev to the Manitoba Moose.
What’s to make of the latest transaction?
It’s a real surprise that Alexander Burmistrov wasn’t placed on waivers today. While I understand the notion of giving Tanev and Copp playing time with the Moose instead of having them sit in the press box, I was expecting to see Burmistrov receive a demotion. While Burmistrov has failed to evolve in to an offensive player over his four-year NHL career, he always had his strong defensive game to fall back on. This season, we haven’t seen Burmistrov be effective in his own zone. Rather, we’ve seen him be reckless, ineffective and playing too fancy for the simplest of plays.
Burmistrov has shown he can’t score at the NHL-level and this season his hockey IQ has seemingly got worse than it already was, why does he have an NHL roster spot over Tanev or Copp? The easy answer is that instead of sitting in the press box, the Jets want to have Copp and Tanev get some playing time in with the Moose and stay fresh.
That’s a fair point.
But I’d counter it with this; Brandon Tanev and Andrew Copp fought hard for their jobs and bring way more to the table than Alex Burmistrov does. Tanev provides speed and solid penalty killing ability whereas Copp has shown to be a valuable penalty killer and someone that can provide some offence in a bottom six role.
This demotion is going to be hard to digest for both of them. What else does Copp have to do to stick around full-time? After playing a full season with the Jets last year, Copp started out this year with the Manitoba Moose. After a handful of injuries and consistent play from Copp in the AHL, Copp was back with the Jets. Since that time, Copp has worked his tail off night in and night out and has solidified the fact he belongs in an NHL bottom six.
The same goes for Brandon Tanev. Paul Maurice has vouched for the compete level Tanev possesses at any opportunity he’s had, with good reason. Tanev’s speed and defensive awareness have transitioned well to the NHL-level. He likely projects as a career third/fourth line player and he’s already playing like a solid fourth line player right now.
— Dave Minuk (@ICdave) December 28, 2016
The real interesting thing will be if the Jets have another injury up front. Will Burmistrov step in to the lineup? Or will Copp/Tanev regain their spots?
My thinking is it’ll be one of the youngsters.