Are The Winnipeg Jets Buying Or Selling?

Will The Winnipeg Jets Buy or Sell or Do Nothing? —

It’s that time of the year again for the Winnipeg Jets with the NHL Trade Deadline fast approaching and Jets fans are wondering if the home team is buying, selling or standing pat.
I said this last year and I’ll say it again.  GM’s manage, coaches coach, players play and fans critique. All four of these will be put to the test with the fast approaching NHL Trade Deadline coming up on Mar.5.
Let’s Make A Deal or Maybe Not?

Once again, this year Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is in the process of making key decisions that will have an impact on his team for the short-term and more importantly the long-term.  Most General Managers are usually thinking of ways to improve their team and have a blueprint that they follow.  This plan might be slightly altered but the long-term plan usually takes precedence.




At least that’s what I thought going into last years trade deadline but obviously I was wrong.  Again! For an organisation that preaches patience along with their disciples in the media, the non-trading of pending UFA’s left a lot of us very confused.   

Generally, the rule of thumb for most organisations is to decide whether they are buyers or sellers close to the trade deadline based on their position in the standings.  This year that is proving to be a bit of a problem with the standings being very tight once again.

Have the Winnipeg Jets put their GM in an awkward position?  Right now, Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has a team that is still in the playoff race.  Can he, will he or does he need to make a deal to put them over the top without compromising the long-term plan?

AND ….

What does the GM do with the 7 upcoming UFA’s in the next week? 

Winnipeg Jets forward Olli Jokinen (12). SHAWN COATES PHOTO

                    Trade or don’t trade?                          photo by Shawn Coates

1.  Olli Jokinen

2.  Mark Stuart

3.  Devin Setoguchi

4.  Chris Thorburn

5.  Adam Pardy

6.  Al Montoya

7.  Zach Redmond

Once Bitten Twice Shy?

Does GM Kevin Cheveldayoff dare risk not trading any or all his pending UFA’s and get nothing in return like he did last year?  Chevy is going to be second guessed no matter what he does.  It comes with the territory and especially in a hockey crazed market like Winnipeg. 

Coaches Take? 
How does the trade deadline affect a coach?  Coaches are all about “the now”.  They play the cards they are dealt.  Would Coach Paul Maurice like to add a couple pieces to help down the stretch and the playoffs?  Of course, he would.  What would Coach Maurice do if he lost Jokinen, Setoguchi, Stuart, etc, etc?  He’d carry on like he does every other day.  He’d play the cards he was dealt — coaches coach.
When Kevin Cheveldayoff pulled the pin on Coach Claude Noel, he admitted he didn’t exactly give him a lot of  help.  Does he risk losing Coach Paul Maurice with the same lack of help?  Is Paul Maurice evaluating TNSE just like they’re evaluating him?
Players Take? 
The players always say that trades are part of the game and out of their control but they would be lying if they said they weren’t on pins and needles until the deadline passes.  The players just like the fans will be watching the Trade Centre, made for TV extravaganzas, on TSN or SportsNet.
Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane (9). (Photo by Shawn Coates)Kane Is Able 
It could be argued that the Winnipeg Jets don’t need to make any moves at the deadline.  Why? They have been playing pretty darn good hockey since the firing of Coach Noel and their trade deadline acquisitions could be sitting right in their own back yard.
The Olympic break allowed most teams to get their wounded warriors healthy and ready for the stretch drive.  Coach Paul Maurice now has Evander Kane, Jim Slater and Matt Halischuk ready to return.  The Winnipeg Jets will suddenly have a pretty crowded press box.  Many will argue and rightly so that except for Kane, Slater and Halischuk are just minor upgrades to the bottom six forwards.
That being said, the Jets GM can now trade his upcoming UFA’s for draft picks without needing a player in return and isn’t that what all the “believers” say it’s all about.  
My Take
After last years trade deadline, I posted that I thought it was a giant organisational mistake not trading their pending UFA’s.  Especially based on the TNSE mantra of building for the future but yet letting 2 or 3 assets expire on the shelf getting NOTHING in return. 
My personal view is that I think our GM should move every tradeable asset we have IF they are not in the team’s plans for next year or beyond.  I’m not going to comment on who should or shouldn’t be signed in this piece but if the Jets want any of them going forward  then get them signed or get them on a plane.  For me, there is no gray area.  This is black and white.  We are not a Stanley Cup contender and I  have no delusions of a magical playoff run.  It’s all about the long-term.  Right believers?  
I am not in favor of any short-term gratification at the expense of what I think could be a very bright future.  No matter what happens between now and the NHL Trade Deadline, Coach Paul Maurice will play the lineup he is dealt and the players pulling on their Jets jerseys will give all they have to achieve their goals because that’s their job.  
It will be up to talk radio and social media to analyze and dissect the GM’s “Trade Deadline Day” performance.  Life in Jetsville will go on Thursday morning whether GM Kevin Cheveldayoff makes any deals or not.
My mind is already made up.  If we hang on to pending UFA’s and get nothing in return while they walk away for nothing on July 1st, it will be a MAJOR fail.  I hope history doesn’t repeat itself.
I look forward to hearing your comments.



  1. I agree that if the UFAs are not part of the long term…trade them now and get some assets for the future.

  2. Mitch Kasprick says

    you never know what a draft pick can turn into. Jets fans are pretty excited about some of the players drafted in the 3-6 round range last draft.

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