This week in the Roundtable, the guys try to sum up the Jets season in one word (and a few more after that), recall what their favorite memory was from the season, ponder about Bryan Little’s future and let us all know what first round playoff matchup they are most interested in.
And here… we… go!
Question One: If you had one word to describe the Winnipeg Jets 2016-17 season, what would it be and why?
Cam: Waste. There was so much opportunity wasted this year. The Jets have a few key young players on ELCs or friendly contracts. The Jets have assets that can be used to improve the team. Instead, they wasted a year of contracts and everyone is a year older.
Garret: Saves… or lack thereof.
Art: Why? As in why did Paul Maurice make some of the decisions he made like give Adam Lowry all kinds of power play time, Laine such little time on the power play and Thorburn any kind of time? Why did Kevin Cheveldayoff seemingly not do anything to address any of the glaring issues the team had?
Kyle: Same. Everything that has always plagued the Jets were no different this year. There was no structural difference, no difference in the amount of penalties taken, no difference in goaltending. Same old issues that always hurt.
Question Two: There has been a little talk online about Bryan Little and his future with the Jets. If it was up to you, would he have a long term future with the club, or would you look at moving him on in a trade this summer?
Cam: The goal is to contend and Little is a really good centre, which every team needs. Even if Jack Roslovic is somehow ready to take on the second line centre role, I would say keep Little and use other assets to improve the team.
Garret: It really depends on how soon they want to contend for the cup. Within 3 years, yes. 4+ years. Little did decline a bit this year, maybe perhaps injuries. Whether it’s this summer or before the deadline is the question.
Art: If you move Little – either now or into next season – you are taking a big gamble that kids like Petan, Dano and Roslovic are ready to step up into bigger roles. You’re also forcing Lowry into a bigger role and I can’t imagine that going over well with anyone as he didn’t seem to be a popular option on the 3rd line. That’s a gamble I’d rather not see the Jets take this season or next.
Kyle: I would look to a 3 year future at least, I don’t see Roslovic, Petan, or Copp really overtaking Little before a few years pass by. After one or two of those players develop, Little can be expendable. But for now, he is absolutely necessary.
Question Three: Which first round playoff series are you looking forward to the most?
Cam: Leafs and Capitals. I live in Hamilton, so there’s a buzz in the air that I’ve never really experienced before because of the Leafs. I love watching all of the Leafs’ young players play and I love watching the talent the Capitals have. It’s going to be a fun series to watch.
Garret: Washington for all the potential drammmmaaaaaaaa.
Art: Oilers v Sharks – Admittedly partly because I live in Edmonton and partly because I am very interested to see if the youth in Edmonton will be served and if this is the moment McDavid really takes that next step to being the face of the NHL, or if the veteran but beat up Sharks are able to keep the kids down for one more year. I love a good “youth and vigor versus age and treachery” storyline.
Kyle: I am really looking forward to Nashville and Chicago. Two good central teams going to battle. It will be good for the Jets to see that battle within the division.
Question Four: The Jets season was largely a disappointment, but what was your favourite memory from it?
Cam: Nik Ehlers. Watching Ehlers develop has been pretty cool because of his ability to skate with the puck in traffic. Skill development is kind of cliche, but Ehlers is taking tangible strides in front of our own eyes.
Garret: Being proven right as Perreault’s percentages started to rebound and he went on scoring back to his historical norm that many Jet fans have forgotten about… I can be smug sometimes. >:D
Art: I may be in the small minority here, but I loved that seven game winning streak to end the season. I guess I don’t care about draft position after the Jets got so lucky last season and whoever they do get isn’t going to be able to come in and help next year anyway. I’ll take the wins even if they were “meaningless” which I don’t think they were.
Kyle: The first game of the year when Scheifele scored the overtime game winner, or Laine’s hat trick game winner against Matthews and the Leafs.