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To Trade or Not To Trade? What Will the Jets Do?

The Jets are who we thought they would be - not great. So, what do they do next?

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NHL: Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

As of the all star break the Winnipeg Jets are sitting three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The good news is that they are within striking distance, in a cluster with nine other teams, all separated by eight points. The bad news is that since mid December, the Jets have the second worst record in the NHL, and are currently on a four game losing streak.

The trade deadline is approaching on February 24. So, what happens next for the Jets? Will they make a trade, or not? Let’s take a look at the two options, and the likelihood of those happening.

The Jets make a trade, or several. Highly Likely.

I’m confident that Kevin Cheveldayoff understands that one or two trades will not immediately vault the Jets into Stanley Cup contention. However, I do think he also understands that the Jets are simply not talented enough, particularly on defense. They will be lucky to make the playoffs with this roster, and the players in the developmental pipeline don’t really move the needle much for next season. Those who cover the team closely, like excellent writer Murat Ates, reinforce that the team seems cohesive, but is simply outmatched by other teams most nights. I agree with this.

If you have the time for a statistical deep dive, check out the stats on the Jets defense on at corsicahockey.com. Spoiler alert, most of the Jets defensemen rank near the bottom of the NHL. Plus, we have the Dustin Byfuglien cloud hanging over this club. The evidence would suggest that he’s not coming back this season. For those reasons, I think Chevy will make a deal or two to upgrade our talent, more so for the future than this season. A GM’s primary job is to constantly upgrade a team’s talent level. I firmly expect trader Chevy to make a deal or two. He may even surprise us with a “bigger” type deal – perhaps a promising forward for an actual NHL caliber top four defenseman.

The Jets do not make any trades. Unlikely.

Standing pat and embracing the semi-tank seems to be a popular choice amongst fans. I too like the idea, in theory. It can yield results. The Philadelphia 76’ers are perhaps pro sports best example. Their former GM Sam Hinkie famously embraced the tank, essentially telling fans they were purposely going to be bad, to be able to draft talent, so they could potentially become good. The key word in that last sentence is former. Hinkie didn’t survive in his job long enough to see the successful results of his tank job.

For that reason, I’m hesitant to believe a GM like Chevy would throw in the towel on the season. His job ultimately depends on winning. Revenue depends to a large extent on winning. It’s a really tough decision to tell your billionaire owner that you’re going to risk regular season attendance declining, and flush potential playoff revenue for chance that you might be able to draft higher, and that the draft pick potentially changes the fortunes of your team. I think the safer approach is that you attempt to re-tool your roster, remaining competitive, protecting your job to some extent.

So, put on your GM hat. Would would you do? Let us know in our poll and comments section.

Poll

Congratulations, you are the GM of the Winnipeg Jets! What would you do at this trade deadline?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    I would try to make a deal or two to upgrade our talent, particularly on defense.
    (333 votes)
  • 33%
    I would do nothing, embrace the semi-tank, and start preparing answers for the ownership group when we’re out of the playoff race, and the last few home games feature a couple thousand empty seats.
    (169 votes)
502 votes total Vote Now