For this weeks WWYDW, we evaluate the three approaches the Jets can take at this year’s trade deadline.
The Jets are in an air tight race for a wild card spot and any opportunity to gain an edge must be evaluated.
With that being said, sacrificing future assets for a rental isn’t the direction the Jets should aim to go. Instead, if the Jets were to be buyers, it would likely be a move that would help them in the present and in the future. The Jets have an abundance of talented forwards to go along with a severe organisational weakness on defence. Winnipeg could aim to bundle up a forward prospect, a draft pick and more to land a young (ish) top-four defenceman.
Acquiring a top-four defenceman would help the Jets through the course of a playoff push along with down the road as the teams core young players hit their peak. One would have to think general manager Kevin Cheveldyaoff is exploring this type of option as the team’s defence seems to be a huge reason the Jets are on the outside looking into the playoffs.
The Jets could pursue Ben Hutton of the Vancouver Canucks or perhaps maybe even Jaccob Slavin from the Carolina Hurricanes if they present the Hurricanes with a desirable package.
If it’s apparent the Jets won’t be making the playoffs as the deadline approaches, they may become sellers at the deadline. The idea behind selling would be to acquire a return for players that are either on expiring deals or at risk of being picked up by Las Vegas at this upcoming summer’s expansion draft.
The two prime candidates to be shipped off would be Mathieu Perreault and Drew Stafford.
Perreault has been raising his trade stock while riding a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists) and also recording 18 hits in that span. Perreault could fit well with a variety of contending teams, but he may not be the easiest to sell for the Jets. Perreault’s four-year 16.5 million dollar contract kicks in next season, which technically doesn’t deem him a rental. The Jets could be hard-pressed to find a trade partner that would a) want an ageing Mathieu Perreault for another four years and b) be willing to protect Perreault in this year’s upcoming expansion draft.
Drew Stafford on the other hand, has an expiring contract and is a pure rental. The Jets may be able to shop Stafford as teams wouldn’t have to offer much for him and no team would have to worry about protecting him in the expansion draft.
Asset management is key and if the Jets are far out of a playoff spot, accumulating future assets could become priority number one.
The Jets, along with the rest of the NHL, may opt to stand pat at this year’s deadline. As I’ve mentioned throughout the article, the expansion draft provides a complicated wrinkle to this year’s deadline. Many high-impact moves have an expansion draft implication and the Jets may choose to save themselves a headache. Neither buying or selling would allow the Jets to keep their depth in Perreault and Stafford in hopes of squeaking into the playoffs and it would also allow them to re-evaluate the trade market in the summer.
Teams can sacrifice a lot, sometimes too much, in a deadline deal. The asking price for trades usually becomes more grounded in the summer and the Jets can assess their priorities better in the offseason than in the midseason.
What would you do Jets fans? Would you be a buyer? A seller? Would you do nothing at all?
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