Winnipeg Jets To Trade Or Not To Trade? That Is The Question

Questions About the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers and the Florida Panthers — 

For many NHL General Manager’s the better part of the last two months has been spent working with staff evaluating their current rosters, identifying gaps in their organizational depth and ultimately determining what players would be best served by a new area code. 

“Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.”

In the last 24 hours we have already seen the results of those deliberations.

Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers were the benefactors of some “outrageous fortune” when they won the lottery for the right to pick first overall.  A sea of troubles has plagued this organization for many years.  The coaching issue appears to be resolved for the moment with the hiring of former Detroit Red Wing Gerard Gallant, the acquisition of Roberto Luongo has given them a legitimate #1 goalie and some solid draft picks such as Jonathan Huberdeau have given Panther faithful some hope.

The big question going into the 2014 NHL Draft will be whether or not Florida trades the number 1 pick for some players that will help them now and in the future.  The “slings and arrows” of their fortune could be significant if trading away a potential cornerstone player at the expense of future picks.  Very few teams are in a position to give away picks combined with Florida’s playoff future clearly a few years out makes the decision an easy one.

PREDICTION: Florida keeps the first overall pick and selects Sam Bennett for depth down the middle.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers organization is a curious lot.  So much change yet much is the same with their decision making.  The trading of Scott Hartnell, the Flyers inspirational leader is not completely off the rocker. However, doing a deal with Columbus in acquiring the aging and much maligned RJ Umberger is.  I smell something more is coming down the pipe in the city of brotherly love.

PREDICTION: Flyers flip RJ Umberger to Vancouver in a package deal to get Ryan Kesler.

Winnipeg Jets

This Spring the rumour mill has been churning over names and possible trade scenarios at a frantic pace.  The Winnipeg Jets need to make a deal is clearly a must but comes at great expense. Moving an Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien or both is a daunting task.  The return for either players has to be significant otherwise trading these players makes no sense.

January 12, 2014-Chevy-13

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff

However, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s track record of making player for player trades is non-existent and could spell another season of looking at the playoffs from the outside in.  There is no question the Jets need help in their bottom 6 to truly make a legitimate push for the playoffs.  Will trading Kane or Byfuglien really make them stronger?

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”

Shakespeare must have been thinking about the NHL Draft when he coined that phrase.   The young stars being drafted this weekend all will experience a bit of what good ole’ Will was trying to say.  It is the season of renewed hope and high expectations for those teams left outside the playoffs.  The Winnipeg Jets are facing perhaps the toughest challenge of them all this off-season.  The fan base clearly wants progress (a playoff spot) and the Jets organizational plan of draft and develop is at odds with expectations. 

The “puddle jumpers” on the “Rock” went all the way to the Calder Cup final and that experience will prove to be invaluable for players such as Carl Klingberg, Adam Lowry, JC Lipon and Josh Morrissey who all will try and push to become Winnipeg Jets this fall.  This brings us back to the original question of “trade or not to trade” and how Chevy and his band of merry men have evaluated their young players.

PREDICTION: Stand Pat Chevy … need I say more … and Swammy says Mr. Ricthie is the Jets 9th pick.

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