I'm new to posting blogs and such, but I'm not new to ranting about the 2.0 version of the Winnipeg Jets.
Enough chit chat. Let's get to it! Alrighty then!
I love the internet...everything yo need to know about, well, everything...including your favorite sports team.
Where am I going with this? Here...
The Jets, but mostly Chevy, have a rather large problem. Drafting and developing. Yep, great. A bottleneck of talent. A logjam of potential. And the increasing pressure of a fan base that is rabid for a winning team. But, here's where it gets interesting. Several "corks" if you will, put in place some time ago, are too longterm. I've got some 'splainin to do.
Ivan Telegin, Alex Burmistrov and Arturs Kulda. These guys are draft picks from the Thrasher days, yet toil their trade in their mother countries, not awaiting the opportunity to play in the promise land NHL, but just to be compromised upon and negotiated with to return to North American hockey, where ever that may take them with the Jets possibly deciding to pull up the tent posts being the St. John's Ice Caps. Heck, I don't even know if Telegin played hockey this year. My point is this...the day that Thrasher management was fired and current Jets management was hired, was the day that these three guys were placed in limbo.
Then after one year on the job, Olli Jokinen was signed to a two year deal...Burmistrov wants more ice time...KHL promised that for him. Bye Bye. Olli's contract is up July 1st. New coach PoMo, self proclaimed KHL coach expert, is at the Worlds, where Burmi is listed as a participant. How do you ask "care to meet up for coffee, or a vodka?" in russian?
At the Olympics, Kulda said he was welcome to the idea of coming back to North America, but only if the Jets had a spot for him. The only way that 's going to happen is if recently long term signed Enstrom, Buff, Bogo and Clitsome fall off a cliff, and become trade bait...or become trade bait,and fall off a cliff. Postma played more table hockey than real hockey this past year. Kichton and Morrissey, Redmond and the rest are chomping at the bit. Kulda will be attending the Worlds too. How do you say "Bonjour!" in latvian?
Poster guy in training Scheifs will be PoMo's right hand guy at the Worlds too. Maybe he knows how to speak latvian. Dunno!
Telegin went home after he thought he cracked the Jets lineup, only to be sent down to St. Johns. There, he faced a team that had too many bodies, and not enough minutes in a 60 minute game. Defense abilities and strength conditioning aside, he wanted to gain experience too.
What's the solution? Well, seeing as the best, highly paid players on the Jets can be considered so-so, overly paid players on other teams, their value is seen as long shots to make any sense of impact on a trade market. Best way to fix this is bring Burmi in, put him with Kane and Frolik, and let him loose...if Burmi and Kane play well, put up points, help the team, it's a win win, and their values goes up.
Bring Kulda in, place him with Bogo, and voila. Either these guys are going to light it up, or the Jets will remain the same.
A draft and develop system doesn't work when a team places too much value on percieved potential, without considering decline and depreciation. Signing guys to contracts longer than 3 years is a strangle hold. Long term contracts creates value in the salary capped market, they say? Huh? Would you finance a car for longer than 4 years? Financially, a individual may have to. But to a NHL team on the same footing as every other team, nope, I don't buy it. Yet, a trade market with only 29 other buyers and sellers can be very selective. They're interested if they see value, and that value partly reflective in years of age, not years on a contract. Coming into their prime? The prime was shortened when the Thrashers became the Jets and philosophy changed. With long term contracts of his "core", Chevy has only made his job harder, not easier.
Overall, the divided value and decline of the players doesn't match the draft and develop philosophy. Chipman should know that, he was in the car business for the longest time. A car lot of "slightly used inventory" will be passed over if the shine isn't there...and right now, there is no shine to any long term signed, self professed assets.
Kane will not attract a top talent back on his own. Neither will Bogo, or Enstrom, or part time defenseman/ part time forward Buff...talk about identity issues!
Clean up the Bottleneck logjam...singly trade away Burmistrov and Kulda, and Telegin for that matter? No shine there either, as it stands. But only for picks, not players for players. Or add value, combine the assets, and shop...say Burmistrov and Bogo for the Schenns. Or Enstrom and Kane for half the Islanders roster...just kidding.
29 teams will divide and conquer Chevy if he plays his cards with only single assets, but if combined with property and ingredients from other countries that are currently in the system, as a GM from another NHL team, I'd be tempted to help the Jets with their current Bottleneck Logjam. Then, and only then, will the Jets be able to move forward, and help to quench the blood thirsty fans that buy all the season tixs, gear and TV subscriptions.
PS Yeah, I know the links don't work...copy and paste in your browser. Do I have to do everything and have workable links? Sheesh!