The more I see the discussion, the more I find myself asking the following question about this season and the playoffs to come: what’s the goal? Or rather, what’s good enough? What is an acceptable outcome for the 2018-19 Winnipeg Jets season, and what can you live with sacrificing to get there?
There are fans on both sides of the coin, with some clamouring for a big move in effort to either kickstart the team or give it the “missing piece” that propels the team on to glory, while others don’t want to sacrifice the future. Names like Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, Kevin Hayes and Artemi Panarin get kicked around, with each name requiring a haul of young potential talent in return. Kristian Vesalainen, Mason Appleton, Sami Niku, Eric Comrie and a 1st round pick (or two) are all major chips that Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff can use to try to pry one of the previously mentioned rentals from their current owners.
Naturally, if the team makes a move for a big player (likely a rental) they will have to give up an array of prospects and picks that could be detrimental to the team’s success down the road. The tradeoff could be a long run in the playoffs, that could culminate in lifting the Stanley Cup at the end of it all. It could also be that the team crashes and burns in the first round of the playoffs, with a departing rental player and a prospect cupboard thinner than it was before. It’s a gamble, with high risk and high reward, with the question being how much are you willing to sacrifice to win it all now? Are you willing to sacrifice some picks and prospects? Yes, this would likely close the window a bit on just how long the Jets can remain one of the top teams in today’s NHL, but it’s also entirely possible that the window closes without the Jets having won at all. In the last 10 years, only five teams have won the Cup.
On the other side, if the team does nothing, they’ll still make the playoffs, but certain players will need to elevate their games to new or previous highs for the team to be competitive against the best teams in the league. It’s also a gamble, with lower risk but also a lower chance of reward, this season at least. By standing pat, however, it remains possible that the core of this team continues to grow, as it remains one of the youngest teams in the NHL, and gets better as seasons go by and truly contends for the Cup not necessarily this year, but next year, and the year after.
So the question that I ask Jets fans is two-parted: what is your goal for the season (Stanley Cup or bust? Similar to last year? Just honoured to be nominated?), and what are you willing to see the team sacrifice to get that far (major haul of prospects/picks, minor haul of prospects or picks, nothing, it’s all going to come up roses and we just need faith and patience)?
Let us know in the poll, and the comments below.
What’s your goal and what are you willing to sacrifice?
This poll is closed
Stanley Cup; major haul of prospects/picks
Stanley Cup; minor haul of prospects/picks
Stanley Cup, and we can win it all with this roster.
A deep run into the playoffs, major haul of prospects/picks
A deep run; minor haul
A deep run, and giving up nothing
Ya know what? 15 teams DIDN’T make the playoffs this year, so it’s pretty cool that we get to see more meaningful hockey.