JN AirMail: Jets Need To Think Big!

Last week was a bit of a slow week for the ‘ol mail bag as we near the end of the first third of the 2018-19 season and things are clipping along fairly well for the Jets relatively speaking. There are the same old issues this team has had since the start of last season – development and utilization of younger players, woes on the blue line and looming Salary Cap crunching and those happen to be the topics we get asked about this week.

JetsNation AirMail is where we ask for your questions, you either @ them to us on Twitter, send them to us on Facebook or even old school electronic mail them to us and then we answer them here!

Just like we do here…

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Kyle: While Trouba fights the puck a little bit more than other top defensemen, his strength and speed can make up for the lack of touch. It’s not much of a problem at the moment although a little better puck handling would go a long way towards that pairing getting more recognition.

Art: It would be nice if Trouba was a little more well rounded, especially when it comes to taking care of the puck in his own end of the ice, but at the age of 24 I still feel like he has room to get better in that area. To your question, I think his overall game makes his less than ideal puck handling skills somewhat reasonable or at least tolerable, but it should be better.

Sean: Trouba has been fine this year and fine is all. At this point I’m not worried about his game. Does he have some deficiencies, sure, but he’s young and showed that he has plenty of skill. The Jets top pairing will be fine.

Kyle: Unfortunately not until the Jets lose a few games. It’s tough to switch the lineup around after a win. Mixing lines is one thing, but changing who actually plays is another story. That being said, I would love to see how Niku performs if paired with Buff or Myers. It’s important for him to get some confidence and some repetition at the NHL level.

Art: I don’t get why he hasn’t yet. It’s now been over a week right? I was a big proponent of bringing Niku up, but not if all he’s going to do is sit in the press box. I legit don’t get what the Jets and Paul Maurice are doing with him.

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Sean: He won’t, and that is unfortunate. Why they call Niku up only to sit him I do not understand. Niku has holes in his game that could be exploited in the NHL, but hard to imagine he’s worse than some that they have.

Art: They can absolutely keep and pay both, but Kevin Cheveldayoff is going to have to get creative. Here’s the thing though, I suspect Chevy already has a couple of different scenarios worked out on how much he’s going to have to pay those two. I do fear though that the creative solutions mean we bid a player like Dustin Byfuglien or a Jacob Trouba goodbye

Sean: Laine is untouchable, he will get his money no matter the price tag. I do think it will get complicated in the next couple years, I look at contracts like Kulikov, Myers, Little and Perreault as guys that may need to be moved if the Jets want to keep their core together.

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Kyle: Connor and Laine are definitely not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, something has got to give eventually in regards to contracts. Is it Little? Perreault? Ehlers? I think the Jets are prioritizing Connor more than people realize.

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What is the going rate for a rental second pair D-Man?

Sean: At this point of the year I think you’re looking at a third or fourth round pick. The problem is lots of teams will be looking to dump salary with a move like that, and the Jets cannot not afford to take on anymore salary. Winnipeg will struggle if they look towards a trade unless it is a 1 for 1 or involves some salary retainment.

Kyle: Wideman just got dealt for a sixth round pick. The market appears to be fairly low on depth guys. A second pairing defender is different, as they don’t come around very often as rentals. That being said, rental prices usually aren’t outrageous so Sean is likely pretty close. Lastly, if I’m Winnipeg, I am loading up one a first pairing D-man if available. Someone to take Chiarot’s spot with Byfuglien for a playoff run.

Art: I say both Sean and Kyle are on the right track here. A third or fourth should get a second pair D-man, but why not aim higher closer to the deadline? To Kyle’s point, if the Jets is as open as we think it is, then a top pairing defenseman that is about to hit the free agent market this coming summer from a team well out of a playoff race might be the best move the Jets can make. Jay Bouwmeester from St. Louis I would think would be an early front runner should the Blues continue to struggle. If the Jets are looking for something a little more long term and the Oilers blow things up in a few weeks, it would behoove Chevy to make a call in for Oscar Klefbom. Now might not be the time for a meddling move. Time to think big baby!

How much longer until the Jets consider running Laurent Brossoit as the starter?

Sean: I hope never. The Jets would be absolutely foolish to go with Broissoit over Hellebuyck. Broissoit has played well but he is not a number 1.

Kyle: Ummm, Hellebuyck would have to be a concern all season and Brossoit would have to keep up a .930 or higher for that to happen. Neither are going to happen so there is zero controversy going forward.

Art: It won’t happen. Period. Unless Hellebuyck has some sort of catastrophic failure and forgets how to goaltend completely or gets injured, Brossoit will remain the trusty backup.

Blake Wheeler current pace: 100pts.
Patrik Laine current pace: 70g
Who’s more like to keep that pace?

Sean: Wheeler. Laine cannot keep up this pace, 70 goals was a nearly unreachable plateau during the years of goaltenders wearing rolled up newspaper as shin pads, these days it is impossible. Wheeler passes like few others in the league right now and hasn’t even found his scoring touch yet.

Kyle: Wheeler’s is obviously more likely as there are hundred point seasons every single year. There hasn’t been a 70 goal season since Teemu Selanne back in 1992-93. Ovechkin’s 65 goals in 2007-08 is the closest anyone has been to Selanne’s mark.

Art: Gimmie Laine and his 70. I think both of these are possible to be honest, but with as lethal as the Jets power play is with Scheifele being just as dangerous an option that needs to be covered as well, Laine is going to get plenty of looks and that shot is just too good. Of course in my power play dreams that boost Laine to 70 goals, it’s possible that Wheeler has 80+ assists. Why not both? As I said in a previous question, time for the Jets to think big!

  • I agree that its time for Niku and Poolman to see some action. They could sit/replace Morrow and Myers, not at the same time, but every few games. This move could give Myers and Morrow a rest and also see what the future of the Jets defense can do. Its draft and develop so how do they develop sitting in the press box?
    If Trouba hasn’t signed a long term contract by the draft its time to trade him as he will bring a great return being a #1 right shot d-man and free up some needed $.
    Teams that stay on top for a long time know when to part with players and replace them with younger faster and more skilled players. I can see Perreault, Kulikov, Copp, Little, Myers and Morrow being players that need to be moved in the next couple of years as younger, cheaper and more skilled players like Niku, Poolman, Samberg, Appleton and Vesailinan will be ready to play on the big team.
    I enjoy your writings and still don’t understand why so few people come here to comment on these articles.