We really had some tremendous questions sent to us this weekend and we wanted to make sure we got to all of them, so here is a second round of AirMail where this time we answer your questions about Best Tanev™, the list of Ottawa Senators who had good showings against potential future teammates on Saturday, and if we’d sacrifice a bit of position in the current NHL standings for better looking wins from the Winnipeg Jets.
Would you rather have #NHLJets showing consistent level of play with prevailing possession/xG metrics but trailing Preds/Stars in the division standing or it's all about points/wins at this point for you?
— Yuri G (@YuriGelfat) February 10, 2019
Eric M: I want to see good and consistent analytics over raw win%. Those advanced numbers correlate to higher win% over time, and most models have the Jets as all but a lock for post season; hockey is notoriously fickle and random with regards to the numbers game – play resultant in good advanced stats that can be maintained is the key for a long second season.
Sean S: Call me old fashioned but I want home ice advantage the whole road to the Stanley Cup Finals. I don’t put as much faith in advanced stats as others do. But I respect them and understand their value. But give me the division champ banner please.
Art: Just win baby. I think the advanced stats and metrics are helpful in terms of understanding how a team is performing and it shouldn’t be ignored, but if the Jets were to lose five games in a row I’m not going to take any solace in the fact that they might have had the edge in expected goals in all five games. Balance is key. Enjoy the victories, but it’s ok to look at possession numbers or shot attempts taken versus shot attempts given up and feel that things could be even better.
Sean: I want Winnipeg to win. Yeah good play would be great but if the Jets are winning I think the numbers will follow in time. Despite their record I think Winnipeg has tons of room for improvement but if they continue to win the stats can say anything.
OTT has been much talked about as a potential trade partner for the Jets – did Saturday's game affect your opinion on that in any way?
— Alistair Mowat (@alistair_mowat) February 10, 2019
Eric M: I had to bow out of viewing the game live due to some conflicting plans; I think a blueliner would be good, but I don’t have a strong enough pulse on the logistical side to know what is viable. I think I would like to see one of Stone/Duchene come to Winnipeg, but if possible I’d like to see a move that also has long-term viability or protections built in. I don’t want to see the farm sold just for this season – I just think the theoretical potential of this team is too high, and their potential window has a longer shelf life than most think.
Sean S: I don’t think it changed a thing. I do still think targeting Duchene or Stone will be expensive for a pure rental player but I would very much like to see either of them in a Jets sweater.
Art: I’m going to issue a retraction from a previous statement I made in this very feature and state Mark Stone can very much be an impact player. Admittedly I haven’t watched that much but I have been since shown the error of my ways and Saturday only clinched it for me. That said, I will stand by my statement that if the Jets are going to trade a Roslovic type for him, there needs to be more than just Stone coming back to Winnipeg.
Sean: Ottawa will be big time sellers in a couple weeks. I’m sure the Jets will be interested but everything will come down to price. I think the players up for trade in Ottawa will command a high price, likely to high as a rental for Winnipeg.
What does the future hold for Tanev? Test the free agent market? Resigned in the off season? Part of a trade deadline deal?
— Tony Hornung (@cdnantman) February 10, 2019
Eric M: I suspect Tanev has played his way out of Winnipeg, with how good he has been all season. I would love to resign him if possible, but there is certainly a chance he is part of a deadline deal or is our in-house UFA ‘rental’ in the push.
Sean S: I don’t see him being dealt at the deadline. He’s earned himself a decent payday this summer and unfortunately that means it will most likely not be with the Jets. As much as that pains me to say. I feel the same way with Laurent Brossoit. He’s earned himself a nice raise, but with our upcoming big name contracts this summer, I don’t think either of them will be on the team next season.
Art: Not only has Tanev maybe played himself to a higher contract out of Winnipeg, but Brandon Lemieux maybe also expediting that process as well with his play as of late. (That you or I think his goal scoring may be a product of sheer luck is probably irrelevant as this is hockey after all being decided upon by “hockey men” who love things such as “grit” and “heart” and would feel the luck of his goal scoring is a product of his actual play) Lemieux is an RFA, Tanev is not. I think at this point we can consider Tanev a “rental” type as Eric kind of mentioned.
Sean: I love Tanev, there is no better Tanev and he is a big part of this team’s success in the bottom 6. Unfortunately or fortunately for him, he may have priced himself out of Winnipeg’s budget. If they can acquire a rental type player, he may be a guy going the other way.