JN AirMail: When Will The Jets Get Their Due?

The Air Mail comes in a little bit late – these things happen in the wintertime – but myself, Brian, Cassie and Kyle are here to answer your questions about Jacob Trouba’s next contract, about where Mark Scheifele should be put back into the lineup when he returns and why Sportsnet hates the Winnipeg Jets so much.

(Spoiler: They don’t really..)

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And away we go!

Kyle: I find the idea of team bias quite interesting, because if you ask a hardcore fan of any team, they will most likely say that the media and the broadcasts are biased against them. I believe most fans have blinders on in regards to in game penalties and on ice calls.

Brian: As much as I poke fun at the national networks covering the larger markets more than the Jets, it’s the industry. It isn’t bias, but it’s pandering to the market that brings you the largest audience. It’s easy to nitpick little things that are said about the Leafs or the Oilers, but as a small market you can’t expect to get the same amount of high profile talk. I do have to admit, I’ve definitely noticed the Jets getting a lot of high praise from the national networks this season. Winning does that for you, even in a small market.

Art: I’d also like to point out that we have to remember that the Jets aren’t part of the Sportsnet’s regional coverage so unlike the Flames or Canucks or Oilers, they do not have a play by play group to “represent” them like the other clubs do. For what it’s worth, I don’t feel Sportsnet talks up or talks down the Jets much more than any other team, but it’s human nature for guys who cover a team for a living on a regional basis (like say the Oilers broadcast team of Kevin Quinn and Drew Remenda) to then talk about them more on a national broadcast as opposed to talking about a team they don’t cover, for no other reason than they are simply going with what they know.

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Cassie: Trouba could sign another bridge deal, as there is nothing in the CBA forbidding a contract of that length, but would he is the real question. I don’t think he would, nor do I feel his play has warranted such a deal. For him to be on the team long term, that will require a long term deal.

Kyle: This is a tough question. If the reports are true and he is wanting to stay, then it would seem to point towards a long term contract. Him and Morrissey are clearly the Jets top pairing right now and Trouba seems to have everything he ever wanted (right side, minutes). I am going to say long term deal, but that doesn’t mean he won’t sign another two or three year deal.

Brian: Can he? Sure. Will he? Most likely not. He’s been looking for something with term for a while, and now he has his ideal position and minute load. In an ideal situation, we avoid the bridge deal, lock him down for some term, and continue to let him become a great NHL player. All of this is assuming that the reports of him wanting to stay in Winnipeg are true, of course.

Art: After signing guys like Ehlers and Little to long term deals this year and having a history of signing Byfuglien and Scheifele to long term deals, I think it would be an insult for Winnipeg to try and short change a Trouba deal to a two year deal that would almost guarantee he leaves when that deal is done. That said I think both sides want to get a deal done and it will, but Winnipeg has to make the numbers work and it’s a bit of a balancing act that the Jets have to work out with some contracts that will expire (looking mostly at the Enstrom deal)

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Cassie: He’s going to come back and find his spot back on the 1st line, maybe easing in via the second line at the worst. He’s the type of player where you know what raw talent you have and even the most stubborn of coaches wouldn’t dare waste it.

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Kyle: I can’t tell if this is a serious question or not…. Top line role, top line minutes in his first game back. Only change I can see is to have him not killing any penalties for a while.

Brian: I honestly can’t see him easing back in that much, based on what role he has taken with the team as top line center. He also has proven that he probably isn’t completely human, and as far as I know, aliens don’t need to be eased into top minutes.

Kyle: No idea where he might end up, it will have to be somewhere with a lot of money to throw at him. I can’t imagine the Jets are seriously in on the sweepstakes. The asking price would be far too steep, plus our cap situation in two years might not be the prettiest. Helle needs a raise, Laine is in for a massive deal in two seasons as well. Combine that with a potential 7-8 million dollar Trouba deal and there is no room for a defensemen who wants 12 or so million.

Brian: I don’t think it would be too much of a reach if I was to say the Jets won’t be much of a factor in a potential EK trade. Even if we were willing to do so and muster up some absurd deal (which I’d prefer that we didn’t), who’s to say Winnipeg is on his list of approved trade locations? He needs to find a slightly bigger market with cap space to spare, because he’ll cost quite a lot.

Art: Ottawa would be so stupid to not only trade him, but do anything other than hand him a blank cheque and say “Here, how much would you like?” … But then again we’re talking about Eugene Melnyk here, so I can’t wait to see EK as a member of Vegas Golden Knights or Colorado Avalanche.