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The Cost of a Pick: the potential reasoning behind the Jets expansion moves

Could the Jets moves before and during the expansion draft have been fuelled by the personal needs of players?

Winnipeg Jets v Anaheim Ducks - Game One Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Near the end of the season, it was revealed that Tyler Myers had left the team for a while to take care of his newborn son who was born prematurely and had quite a tough start to life. It is highly plausible that the Winnipeg Jets asked Toby Enstrom to waive his no-movement clause not because they did not value him as a member of the team, but saw the personal needs of Myers as more important at the moment while they could make moves to keep Enstrom with the team at a later date.

When it was revealed that the Jets wanted to protect Myers in the expansion draft, a lot was made out about how he is simply not as good of a players as Enstrom and that it is foolish to protect him over Enstrom. Yet, it is plausible that Kevin Cheveldayoff was trying to do right by Myers’ family by keeping them in the city with the doctors that knew their baby best.

In the case of swapping a first round pick and adding a third rounder to keep Enstrom from being taken, it could very likely be the same case: pay a small price and keep the player in the city that makes the most sense for his family. The statement from Enstrom’s agent when it was announced he had waived his no-movement clause makes it sound like he did not want Enstrom moved for any reason.

Cheveldayoff could have quite possibly known that is was possible to manoeuvre so both players could stay while retaining Mathieu Perreault as well, but he felt that protecting Myers was more important at the moment. It is apparent that Enstrom did not want to go to Vegas, yet he waived and Cheveldayoff was able to made a move to keep Enstrom in Winnipeg for the time being.

It is easy to forget that the NHL has actual players playing sometimes with how quickly they can get cast aside. It seems as though Cheveldayoff took an approach of trying to do right by players and their families to make their lives better overall. That should be worth a whole lot more than downgrading a first rounder and a third round draft choice.