The Winnipeg Jets have a problem on defence. This problem has nothing to do with the departure of one Toby Enstrom, who has left the NHL for Sweden and MODO. It has nothing to do with the fact Jacob Trouba has a one-year contract that an arbitrator settled instead of a multi-year contract and Josh Morrissey being without a contract with under 50 days before the start of training camp.
It should not be that big of a deal that there is a player that is unsigned this far out of camp, but it is because the Jets need to have their defence ready to go at the start of the season. This will be a transitional season for the Jets and without Enstrom, their depth will be tested if Morrissey is not there at the start of the season.
How did the Jets get here? It is unknown. The Jets are back to where they were before Morrissey if he is not signed before the start of the season. Before Morrissey, if Enstrom was hurt the Jets were in trouble because that side had little depth and they were without a strong player on that side. Now that Enstrom is gone, the best they have after Morrissey is Tyler Myers. While Myers had a good season last year, it is reckless to assume that the defence will be fine if he is the top defenceman on his side.
The Jets still have lots of time to sign Morrissey and there is no reason for alarm yet, but the repercussions of Morrissey not starting the season with the Jets is too great to ignore. If the Jets are smart, they will get no where close to this situation as they will sign him to a contract soon.
The good news is that Josh Morrissey is back in Winnipeg and spoke to the media today. He expects he will sign a contract soon and he has no concerns that he will be signed by the start of training camp. Playing the role of Debbie Downer, but that sounds a lot like what Trouba said before he missed all of training camp and the start of the season when his agent failed to reach a deal with the Jets.
There is nothing to worry about yet when it comes to the Jets and Morrissey. The closer we get to training camp and then the season, the more imperative it becomes for the two sides to reach an agreement. The Jets need Morrissey and Morrissey has no recourse to make sure they reach a contract before camp (which is one of the positives about arbitration). Both sides need Morrissey playing and both sides seem motivated to get a deal done, but will that be enough to make it happen or will Morrissey be missing the start of camp is yet to be seen.