It seems that many Jets fans are getting caught up in the plethora of Ottawa Senators rumours over the past week. While I won’t deny that Mark Stone would be a fantastic addition to the roster, there are other players and teams to look at before the deadline.
While a trade with the Sens seems inevitable given how long Ottawa has had their scouts and GM in Winnipeg, Cheveldayoff’s never been one to tip his hand before making a deal. With such an unpredictable move last year with Stastny, who knows what the Winnipeg mastermind has up his sleeve.
Let’s look at some of the options that are out there, even if they aren’t near the top of TSN’s trade bait board.
Some people hate inter-divisional trades. I don’t see a problem with it, if a rival has someone you want, make a deal. The Wild are currently fighting for a playoff spot, but after recently losing Koivu for the season, they might be looking to rebuild for next season.
Charlie Coyle has been rumoured to be on the move but Granlund could also be a great addition for the Jets. He has one more year on his contract after this one at $5.750 million and his point totals over the past few years have been excellent with 69 points two years ago and 67 points last year.
His underlying numbers seem impressive as well. When comparing him to the Jets’ current second line centre, it appears that Granlund has the edge in nearly every category. He’s still fairly young as well which means the Jets could possibly keep him for years to come.
Even if Granlund is a good fit in Winnipeg, what would the cost be to obtain him? It would largely depend what Minnesota wants, but the Jets would likely have to trade either Connor or Ehlers. Given the strong play of both Connor and Ehlers, could a good old one for one trade get done? It’s an intriguing option if the Jets want to upgrade their centre position at the expense of a winger.
Forever linked with Mark Scheifele, Couturier has turned into a solid player himself. The Jets turned heads at their first ever draft as they chose Scheifele well ahead of most scouting reports. Couturier was the player who was supposed to be picked, but the Jets made up their mind and went with Scheifele anyways. It turned out great for the Jets as Scheifele continues to get better every season.
Couturier on the other hand, started playing in the NHL sooner but hasn’t flourished quite like his counterpart. Recently however, that’s started to change. Couturier had a breakout season last year with 31 goals and 45 assists. He’s continued that offensive outburst this season as he already has 24 goals and 30 assists in 57 games. Adding Couturier would be great for the Jets, especially when looking at his contract. He’s signed until 2021-2022 with a cap hit of $4.333 million.
To get a point per game player at that price would be phenomenal for the Jets. He wouldn’t come cheap though, the Flyers likely see him as one of the building blocks of the future and the potential heir to Giroux’s captaincy. If the Jets could appeal to Philly’s future, they would likely have to give up Roslovic, a prospect, and a pick for someone like Couturier.
Lastly, just for reference, Couturier is comparable to Scheifele in how good he is across nearly every category. He’s the type of player that could thrive in Winnipeg and turn into one of the best value contracts over the next few years.
Bringing in Hampus Lindholm is the type of move that could solve a few problems for the Jets. It would immediately bolster the top four in the short term, as Lindholm could be paired with Byfuglien on the second unit. It would also solve a longterm solution in case Trouba decides to leave the team at his earliest opportunity. In a few years, the balance of power among Jets defensemen would swing from the right side over to the left side as Morrissey, Lindholm, and Niku would be an intriguing look down the left side of the lineup.
Lindholm is under contract for a long time with his deal running until the summer of 2022. While his cap hit is decently high at 5.206 million, the Jets would likely be able to afford it, especially if Trouba goes through arbitration once again.
While some of the numbers don’t look great for Lindholm this season, he’s playing for the Ducks, who have been outstandingly terrible for most of the year. His previous years look much better than the current one and he would almost certainly see an uptick in scoring when playing with the high powered offense of Winnipeg.
While I don’t think Cheveldayoff will necessarily go out and purchase one of these three candidates, the process was to look at some off the board suggestions and see if the Jets would be able to fill a need with players that aren’t listed as ‘available’. All three candidates would help the roster, but they would also require a much higher price. Sometimes that needs to be done to help the team, especially if it keeps the championship window open for longer.
With the Jets struggling in their 5 on 5 play compared to last season, you have to wonder if the Jets are in need of a bigger roster shakeup than just a rental player at the deadline. These deals might help the underlying issues, even if they aren’t as flashy as a big name rental.
Okay, now that you’ve read this, you can go back to dreaming about Ottawa and Mark Stone coming to town. At least I provided a brief break from the rumours.