Category Archives: Winnipeg Jets
— Dannie Robidoux (@dannierob) February 3, 2014
It’s a recent playoff series that’s slowly fading away into the NHL history books without much thought. The 2010 Western Conference finals wasn’t a seven-gamer. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The Chicago Blackhawks swept the San Jose Sharks in a series that was fascinating because it was brief yet extremely competitive. This wasn’t a mismatch. Every game was close.
You would talk to Joe Thornton after every loss to try and get answers and he would kind of shrug and say, “I liked how we played.” And he was right — they just weren’t winning.
It is GM’s Kevin Cheveldayoff’s mandate to improve Winnipeg’s goaltending. Ondrej Pavelec is under contract for three more seasons, but the 26-year-old Pavelec is showing no signs of changing who he is: an up-and-down goalie who undermines the three saves he shouldn’t make with the one stop he should. Winnipeg’s identity is high-tempo, offense-first skill. Mistakes will happen in those types of systems. Pavelec isn’t good enough to negate them. There are goaltending options.
Matheson also reports the Pittsburgh Penguins would like to acquire Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler to play with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz on the team’s first line.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been engaged in numerous trade discussions with several clubs, including the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins, among others.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal believes Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets is exactly what the Oilers need. Staples considers the idea of the Oilers trading Gagner for Ladd, Blake Wheeler or Dustin Byfuglien. With Mark Scheifele and Brian Little solidified at centre on the top two lines, Gagner could have to play on the wing in Winnipeg.
It is time for some addition by subtraction: The Winnipeg Jets need to move Dustin Byfuglien and get the most they can for him.
Less Buff will be best for the Jets now and going forward.
Whether it’s at the trade deadline or this summer when the salary cap rises and loosens up the market, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has to do what he can to get a return for Byfuglien.
In the interim, coach Claude Noel should limit his minutes. The addiction to Byfuglien has to end. It’s killing the Jets and Noel’s future as head coach.
It’s impossible for the coach to preach system and puck management when one of his minutes leaders refuses to buy in. It’s time to stop thinking about Byfuglien’s potential and look at his reality. He’s a hazard.
What to do with defenceman Dustin Byfuglien?
Byfuglien showed what he’s all about, a two-goal, plus-3 performance the first two games, then handing the Pens two goals and going minus-3, Sunday.
There are rumours out there; indeed, there are always rumours. The names Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien have been heard but nothing’s been verified.
With the Winnipeg Jets and Evander Kane not always on the same page, the Vancouver Province floats the idea of Kane as a Canuck – which would address the team’s need for another scorer:
“Granted, negotiating a trade for a 22-year-old power forward of Kane’s ability would be harder than negotiating a new version of NAFTA, but players like this don’t become available every day. Kane’s from Vancouver. He has the potential to be a game-changer.”