After dropping a 2-1 decision to the Devils the Winnipeg Jets brass has to look at their team and decide whether or not they are going to address the issues that currently plague this line up. Namely offense and effort.
For the entire game this team looked absolutely useless offensively. he Jets lone goal was scored by Andrew Ladd on a shot that martin Brodeur is going to stop 999 times out of 1000.
I stated in a previous blog that the Jets needed to sweep their home games this month and go 3-2 on the road for them to stay in contact with the rest of the teams batlling for a playoff spot in the East. My opinion has not changed and this loss could prove to be a breaking point at the mid-point of the season.
Many are saying how badly this team needs Bogosian and Byfuglien back in the line up, and I really don't disagree with that assessment at all. The problem is that those two players play defense. Are they offensive threats ? Sure they are. But if you can't rely on your forwards to put the puck in the net how on earth are two defensmen going to make that much of a difference. As a GM if you are relying that heavily on your back end to produce offensively you are in deep, deep trouble.
At some point there will have to be a decision made as to whether or not Chevy is going to try to remedy this problem now, or later. If this team is going to continue to be brutal over the next 40 games then I say go ahead. Let them stink it up so badly that you actually have a possibility to draft a decent offensive player who can be a game changer.
They would have to be absolutely brutal to post a bad enough record to get Yakupov, but they very well could be horrible enough to get the number 2 pick.
That is one option.
The other is to have the stones to blow this team up completely.
Think about this for a second. It actually makes perfect sense.
This is not a team that was built by this management team. This is a team that was recently purchased. The management group in Winnipeg can't really be married to anyone on this roster. Do they have some blue-chip prospects moving forward ? Yup. Evander Kane could prove to be a 40-45 goal guy. He has that kind of ability. Unfortunately for Kane, if you believe some of the reports, he might think a little too much of himself and that might be rubbing a few of his teammates the wrong way.
So lets assume that Chevy will actually consider blowing the team up. There are truly only a handful of players on this team that I would consider holding on to. I think Zach Bogosian is someone that you would need to build around, and if you keep Bogosian I think you hang on to Oduya as well due to the fact that Oduya allows Bogosian to do his thing without worrying about the consequences. I would also hang on to Mark Flood due to the fact he is a great young defensmen that costs you next to nothing.
On the front end I can honestly say that I would only consider keeping Tanner Glass and Alexander Burmistrov. Glass is a 4th line guy forced to play 3rd line minutes because of this teams lack of scoring punch. As for Burmistrov, he has such high-end skill that I would want to see what he could do given the right accompaniment.
Thats it. The rest of the team can either be dealt, demoted, or shipped to Siberia.
I would assume a playoff team at the deadline would offer up quite a bit for either Andrew Ladd of Dustin Byfuglien. 2 players who have rings and know what the playoffs are all about.
Evander Kane would bring you a ton of return from someone looking to wait for him to show some maturity.
Now, am I being a little over-dramatic ? Sure. Maybe. Kind of.....but yet, not really. I can see Cheveldayoff doing something drastic and I would n't put it past him to do so.