TSN released their annual Trade Bait List ahead of the March 1st deadline and three Jets players cracked the top 15. To no
one’s surprise, pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Ondrej Pavelec comes
in at number nine along with pending unrestricted winger Drew Stafford showing up at 15. Not
only are those two likely candidates to be moved, some will argue they both should be moved, if there are any takers. A somewhat surprising inclusion
on the list and extra surprising in his placement is Mathieu Perreault, who
shows up at number four.
But should it be surprising?
Back in July, the Jets signed Perreault to a four-year extension at an average annual value of $4.125 million. “Mathieu has found his place, found his home,” said Jets coach Paul
Maurice at the time. “He’s played the best hockey of his career here. He’s
excited he fits and he’s become a really versatile player for us on the wings
and at center ice. I think style of game too – when fans come and watch, and
the players on the bench really appreciate his tenacity. For not a big guy, he
plays with a big heart. We’re really fortunate, really pleased that he picked
us again.” His numbers had dipped last year, with only 9 goals in 71 games after have
scored 18 in each of the previous two seasons. And now his production seems to
have slipped even further, posting just four goals and nine assists in 33 games
With the supposed forward depth that
the Jets have amongst their youngsters, perhaps now is the time to move
Perreault. There are many moving parts in all of this, but removing Perreault
from the equation might give the Jets some room to maneuver as the expansion draft approaches.
Perreault has all day to tie the game. Rough start for the Petry-Beaulieu pairing. pic.twitter.com/c6ZgYq7v6r
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) January 12, 2017
Now, there’s no doubt that ‘Matty P’ has value on the roster, even when he’s
not producing at the highest levels, but in the current ‘draft and develop’
climate, Nic Petan is wasting away on the fourth line alongside Andrew Copp and Chris Thorburn. Looking onward, Petan could slide in nicely in Perreault’s role. Alike Perreault, Petan can play both wing or center and Petan has also
shown a lot of promise on the half wall of the power play.
When on his game, Mathieu Perreault is a very likeable player. He’s versatile, energetic, and not
afraid to speak his mind (see his comments from earlier in the season on Jacob Trouba’s holdout). His drop in production as of late can be traced back to the hit
he took from Daniel Carcillo of the Blackhawks in January of 2015 (a hit for
which Carcillo was suspended 6 games). Since that point, his production has been on the decline.
TSN’s ‘Trade Bait’ lists aren’t put together in a vacuum; Mathieu
Perreault doesn’t show up at number four based on a hunch. It’s safe
to assume that these guys have some sort of insider information, perhaps that
the Jets are shopping him or perhaps other teams are making inquiries. Whatever the case is, with Petan needing ice
time to develop, the Jets needing to make expansion draft decisions, and
Perreault looking at a raise and a decline in production along with his increased propensity for injury, maybe now is the time
to let him go. If there was a way for the Jets to get some young defensive
talent in return, Perreault may be a good piece to move.