Since pretty much the start of the season there has been a prevailing thought that the Jets were basically going to bide their time until the trade deadline and then strike the market by landing a big name player who likely would be due to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer and thus deemed a “rental” for an expected playoff run.
But with the Jets having struggled like the have this past weekend – and last month or so really – should they even consider it? That’s one of the questions posed to us today for this week’s AirMail feature!
Just like this…
Should Jets "rent" a player now that they arent playing like contenders??
— robbie (@robbie17178958) February 10, 2019
Eric M: If Chevy can line up a rental without selling the farm, I don’t think that a rental is a terrible idea. With the upcoming cash crunch, wizardry could make it work if some cap dump can happen; our own UFAs may just be our rentals if the market doesn’t open up nicely.
Sean S: I disagree in that they aren’t playing like cup contenders. A lot of people are screaming “the sky is falling” because we lost a few games in a row. Yet we’re still 1st in the central, 2nd in the west, and 3rd in the league. While I don’t think we necessarily need a rental. Getting some backup for the playoffs would be nice and I have faith in Chevy to do what’s needed.
Art: I’m ok with a rental so long as it’s not mortgaging too much of the future. As mentioned just a single day ago, if there is an absolute need to trade a Niku or a Roslovic, there needs to be something more than a two month “rental”
Sean: A rental is fine as long as the price is not to high. I agree that Winnipeg has not been as good as they were last season, but they will still contend and in a seven game series I still like them against most teams.
Which 'prospects' on the moose are likely AHLers for life?
— Winnipeg Jets Centric Podcast (@JetsCentric) February 10, 2019
Sean S: There are a few. Dano, Spacek, Kichton, Lipon, Schilling. To keep the list brief.. A few guys will see a handful of NHL games in their career. But for the most part won’t see much. At least not with the Jets.
Art: I still hold out hope for Dano, if not with the Jets then with someone else, although time is running out on him. I’d also add Nogier to that list.
Sean: At this point unfortunately I think most of that team are career AHLers. The cupboard that was once stacked with prospects is down to scraps and maybes.
Why can’t Niku crack defence Corp?
— Andy Johnson (@Stiicksjohnson) February 10, 2019
Eric M: I suspect this is just a function of sticking to veterans. I haven’t seen a lot of the advanced analytics on him, but he has passed my eye test in the past, and I’d like to see him break into the rotation. I also suspect this could be due to dollars already tied up in other players – perhaps Niku gets to slot in if Trouba can’t be resigned (which again, with the cap crunch, I personally think is likely).
Sean S: He’s young. Defenceman aren’t always breaking into the league young. I haven’t been terribly impressed with his NHL play in the few games he’s played in. But a lot can change over a summer. I said the same thing about Morrissey the summer before his rookie season. He wasn’t overly fantastic for the moose the season prior but exploded into the top pairing role that he’s in now. There are holes to fill next season that Niku, Poolman, and Stanley will fight for.
Art: I suspect it’s the inexperience thing holding him back. I’d be stunned if he wasn’t a full time regular NHL’er next season. The few times Maurice has talked about him, it sure feels like that’s what he expects.
Sean: I like Niku, however being a rookie trying to crack the top 6 is like a boxer fighting the champion. Niku has to clearly knockout one of the current 6, he’s not going to win a tight decision. Unfortunately his play when he has been in the lineup has not been good enough yet.
Is Vesalainen trade bait no one is seeing?
— Darren Metselaar (@DarrenMetselaar) February 10, 2019
Eric M: I think Vesalainen is a longterm project. This season he wanted to see some stability, and staying in Europe gave him that (plus I think there’s some ELC dancing being done to protect him for the upcoming expansion, but I certainly could be remembering his games played/contract age incorrectly).
Sean S: No. This team is built at its core on draft and develop. The latter half of that being extremely important. Vesalainen wanted to stay on one team this season, and not bounce between NHL press box and AHL ice time. Which is completely fair. I have no doubt that either next season, or the season after that he will be a very big part of our team.
Art: If Kevin Cheveldayoff was already reportedly resisting the idea of trading Roslovic, then Vesalainen is likely a non-starter for him at all. Other team GM’s probably can’t even get his full name out before Chevy hits ‘em with a big ol NOPE.
Sean: I can’t see it, this team has done an amazing job with their first round picks. I can’t see Cheveldayoff giving up on this guy yet.