Third Quarter Report Card: Forwards

Winnipeg Jets Report Card at the 3/4 Mark: Forwards — 

The Winnipeg Jets record at the time of this evaluation was 29 – 26 – 6.  This report was done after the shootout win over Phoenix on Thursday, Feb. 27.

Most grading systems I’ve seen just do a basic grading of the forwards, the defencemen and the goaltending in groups.  I wanted to try something different by evaluating each player based only on his play and then evaluating his play based on his salary.  Thjs is not very scientific and at times not very fair.  Ron Hainsey was a prime example of that during his time in Winnipeg.  Olli Jokinen has seen his share of criticism too based on his salary.  After years of coaching and scouting, I just look at the game a little differently than I used to as a fan.  You’d almost think the money was coming directly out of my own pocket.  As a season ticket holder, I guess a miniscule part of it is.  

My Criteria

1. The players position and roll in the line-up for each game … example: top  6 forward, PP.

2. The amount of ice time and hard minutes. example: playing against top lines, PK.

3. Expectations from coaches, media, fans, etc.

4. Salary or “Return On Investment” (ROI).  This may seem unfair and not very popular with the mainstream media but in 1990 the NHLPA decided to introduce salary disclosure.  This was to give the players some negotiating leverage when comparing their salary with comparable players around the league.

With NHL salaries now readily available to anyone, it has now opened up the players to public scrutiny so there is no hiding your salary from the fans.  I’ve heard lots of fans on talk radio or social media state they could care less what a player makes.  That’s fine and that is their prerogative but player salaries impact your favorite team greatly.  Over-paying under producing players impacts the teams ability to make trades, sign FA’s, etc. so salary should not be taken lightly.  This report is just another in a long line of different opinions from different sources.  Agree or agree to disagree is fine by me.

Winnipeg Jets Little-2-300x200

Once again Bryan Little has been the Winnipeg Jets most consistent player through 61 games.

Keep in mind, the first grade is based strictly on what you see on the ice.  The second grade, ROI, is based on whether I think the player is earning his salary or is the team getting the appropriate “bang for their buck”

Under “Salary” column, you will notice this years salary along with the “cap hit” courtesy of 



Winnipeg Jets 2013-14 Forwards

With the addition of Dustin Byfuglien to the Jokinen line, it has actually given the Jets a lot more balance up front.  Using him on the power-play is an absolute must and he has been used in four on four situations when the team is in need of some offence.  Whether he stays as a winger for the long haul has yet to be determined but if he does, it is not very cost effective having a 5.7 mil third line right winger.  As the Winnipeg Jets third line stands right now, it could be said that the 13 mil could be better spent.  Thirteen million for a third line is mighty steep.


January 07, 2014-Jets-Lightning-03

Is Dustin Byfuglien better at forward or on the blueline?            photo by Shawn Coates

I stated this at the mid-term report and nothing really has changed.  But,when a hockey team is on the wrong end of as many one goal hockey games as the Winnipeg Jets, the odd goal from the 4th line could be huge.  This is unacceptable and needs to be addressed this off-season if not sooner.  

Going into the final quarter of the season with Jim Slater returning from the IR, his experience and face-off ability will be a nice addition.  I still feel the Jets optimum fourth line would be Slater, Tangradi and Halischuk but that’s not my call. 


Blog Stats

  • 182,274 hits