Jets vs. Penguins Morning Skate: Killing the clubhouse mentality?

USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets were busy adding Eric Tangradi while parting was with Alexei Ponikarovsky. Were these moves made to wake up the dressing room or rather to stock up on what has the makings of being a very deep Entry Draft?

If anyone thought that Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was playing with kids gloves, he proved for certain that wasn't the case earlier this week.

With the team mired in life on the mediocrity roller coaster, Winnipeg's front office was hard at work Wednesday, begining with the shipment of a 2013 7th round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the services of noted underachiever, Eric Tangradi. Later that evening, Cheveldayoff was busy freeing a roster spot for Tangradi -- a player to whom waiver exemptions do not apply -- jettisoning Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils for a fourth round pick in 2013 and a seventh in 2014.

To recap, the Jets replace Ponikarovsky with Tangradi while accumulating two draft picks for the price of one.

Does this series of deals make the Jets impactfully better today? No. Only a fool would argue that Tangradi outranks Ponikarovksy in anything other than unrealized potential. But the swaps achieve more than what simple roster bolstering could. They send a message that rings loud and clear throughout the Jets' dressing room that mediocrity will not be tolerated.

Now, Alexei Ponikarovsky has been the least of Winnipeg's problems, to be sure. In fact, he's been one of the most consistent players through the quarter pole this year. But as a General Manager, you can't sell the farm (Kane, Little, Wheeler) in order to make a statement.

Some have likened Winnipeg's lackluster nonchalance to the most aggressive of cancers, hellbent on compromising the integrity of the team. While it's a stance that may be a tad overexaggerated, one can't deny the type of country club vibe this team has been known to exuberaet time and time again over its past ninety-four games.

Disposing of Ponikarovsky should be a wake-up call to any and all his former teammates who have been known to wrinkle their noses, shrug their shoulders and say "oh well, next time" after as the losses pile up. It's an attitude that propagates future failures and allows the country club atmosphere to live on and grow. Ponikarovsky's departure should be seen as a cautionary tale of what could happen should 100% effort not be achieved night in, night out.

And again, this isn't to slag on Poni, there could be a number of players on one-year deals in his situation right now. Lou Lamoriello clearly named his price, one which TNSE couldn't refuse, prompting them to put pen to paper on this transaction toute suite.

One can only hope that these trades light a fire under a team who has only scored five times in its last three games. Otherwise, the roller coaster of mediocrity will continue to attract gullible tourists, gobsmacked and all too eager to throw down their $150 per ticket without a care in the world. But the novelty will wear off. At some point, the queasy feeling of being ripped off by an underwhelming product will be too much for some to bear.

Do you think that Winnipeg's recent activity was done to send a message or rather to stock up for what has the makings of a deep draft? Let us know in the comments section!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Arctic Ice Hockey

You must be a member of Arctic Ice Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arctic Ice Hockey. You should read them.

Join Arctic Ice Hockey

You must be a member of Arctic Ice Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arctic Ice Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker