Winnipeg Jets Asset Management?

Winnipeg Jets And Their UFAs —

As a writer in the .com world, I use twitter like a lot of other .com writers do. We’ll throw out a comment or ask a question then watch our timeline for feedback.  We don’t have the luxury of access to the local team so you don’t see too many player interviews or fluff pieces coming from us.  For the most part, we write opinion pieces.

One of my pet peeves in the last two years has been the Winnipeg Jets asset management or lack of it.  I’ve been preached too, lectured and even been scolded by some fans and other writers that the Winnipeg Jets are building through the draft and they won’t trade away the future.  I totally agree.  If that’s their mantra, then stick to it.

We’ve all heard the excuses that the Atlanta Thrashers left the cupboards bare and the Jets need to restock the shelves ~ ~ blah blah blah.  I get it. There wasn’t much in the AHL and the depth in the organisation was non-existent. Well, we are two years in and it is getting better but still not good enough.

“the Winnipeg Jets owe us a playoff run.”

I was never on the side of being a buyer last year and certainly not this year. I’ve heard fans say “the Winnipeg Jets owe us a playoff run.”  The Winnipeg Jets are currently in a playoff run and will still continue to still be in a playoff run after the deadline even if they traded their UFAs.  I find it hard to believe the playoff hopes of this franchise were hanging on the stick blades of Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi.  

I can’t believe one injury to rookie Mark Scheifele has derailed “the plan” and turned the world upside down in River City?  Another built in excuse for Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff being dormant at the trade deadline.  

Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (55). (Photo by Shawn Coates)

                          How much did the Mark Scheifele injury impact trade deadline day?               photo by Shawn Coates

I’m always on my soapbox lamenting the fact we don’t trade our UFAs.  Last year we got squat for Hainsey, Antropov or Wellwood.  It has been pointed out to me on more than one occasion that they wouldn’t have fetched much at the deadline.  I call a big fat BS on that.  ANYTHING you get for an expiring asset is a future asset that could turn into a roster player.  We don’t have a crystal ball and we don’t know what the future holds but lets just say we got a 3rd rounder for Hainsey and 5th or 6th rounder for Antro or Welly.  That is three more shots at the dart board.

This year at the deadline, the Jets signed defenceman Mark Stuart to a contract extension. Yay, one UFA off the board.  What about the rest of them?

I realize that the Winnipeg Jets pending UFAs can still be resigned before the FA period on July 1st so the book on them isn’t closed until then.  The team may also have offers on the table for said pending UFAs but there is probably a a good chance a few will be walking away for nothing again.  More assets expiring on the shelf.  If all the rhetoric from this hockey team and their disciples is about being patient and building through the draft, why are we letting our UFAs walk for nothing?  Answer that spin doctors.

When I posted the question on twitter a common theme was that the return wasn’t worth it.  I used getting 3rd round and 5th round draft picks as an example.  Like I mentioned earlier, the more picks you have the better chance you have to find a Jamie Benn in the 4th round.  

Contrary to popular belief there are more than 1st and 2nd round draft picks on NHL teams rosters.  I decided to make a list of 50 or so players that are solid NHL player drafted in the 3rd round or later to make my point.  Well, I stopped at 70 and left a lot more off my list.  I also didn’t add a bunch of non-drafted free agents like Jonas Hiller, Tyler Bozak, Curtis Glencross, Mark Giordano, Tory Krug and a host of others.

draft Goal & Def

If you sift through these two tables and look at some of the names you’ll find a pretty impressive list of solid NHLers, All-Stars and approximately 15 -20 Olympians.  Not too shabby is it?

draft fwds

Once again, what’s your point Mitch?

The point is drafting isn’t an exact science.  For every Pavel Datsyuk you draft in the 6th round, you get a Patrik Stefan drafted in the 1st round so the more picks the better.  Don’t ever scoff at late round picks because you never know who it can turn into.  The Nashville Predators drafted Pekka Rinne in the 8th round.  WOW!

Every pick, whether it’s a 1st rounder or a 6th rounder can get you a potential star.  If the plan is to build through the draft, why trade a 2nd round pick for Devin Setoguchi and then let him walk for nothing come July 1st?

If that is asset management, I must have missed that class. 

Comments

  1. good article Mitch….now here’s food for thought….If Chevy subscribes fully to your way of thinking it would seem he’s not really following his plan at all! Here’s another tidbit….maybe the plan is “fluid” at best? Of course I don’t know the answer but based on your argument he’s falling short in managing his assets.
    Darryl Manchulenko recently posted…Winnipeg Jets Asset Management?My Profile

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      … for me the playoff race shouldn’t impact the plan but maybe & I’m giving him a small benefit of the doubt here, if there were some call-ups that were ready from St.Johns he would have moved Seto, Olli, etc but I don’t want to hear “we were active” because they were talking to other teams. To me thats complete BS.

      • I originally thought the only trade that might get done would be one to help the Ice Caps in their playoff run. I agree with you “active” is a matter of who’s initiating conversations. I think the Chevy Spin was in full force. If you are managing a plan you would think the tradeline is a great opportunity to improve your team depth knowing full well the playoff teams are looking to get over the top. That makes them somewhat in a weaker position. Leverage that for crying out loud!! It would seem to me that at every critical player event (I.e. Draft, UFA/RFA signing period, and Trade deadline) you need to do something to improve the team. In some respects we have not done so in 2 of the 3 areas. Drafting we’ve done reasonably well…time will tell.

        I have been saying this for some time. The Jets have a big problem on their hands. The age of certain core players will not allow them to be a part of a consistent playoff team. There’s too big of a gap in my opinion between Kane, Scheifele, and Trouba to Ladd, Buff, etc. Those guys will want to play for a winner in the next 2 years and the Jets are not there yet.

        I like having Kane, Little, Byflugien on the team because they add a dimension other would covet. However, the fundamental argument is that as a “team” they are not good enough. The best way to put is, currently, they are a collection of second tier players Playoff teams want to get over the hump. That is going to change but not quick enough.
        Darryl Manchulenko recently posted…Winnipeg Jets Asset Management?My Profile

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