Last night the Winnipeg Jets lost 6-3 at home to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Watching the game it was pretty clear that there is little to no direction as to where this team is or where it's going. They were getting beat in every aspect in the game, whether it be a 1 on1 battle on the wall or just a race to open space and was really difficult to watch. The Jets are know 10 pts. back of the final playoff spot in the wild west and unless they put together a double digit winning streak, playoffs aren't happening again.
So what does GM Kevin Cheveldayoff do? Fire the coach, make a trade? I think it would be in his best interest to actually do something. The core players that are currently on the Jets roster (except Scheifele and Trouba) were all acquired by the organization prior the move to Winnipeg. The core (Ladd, Little, Wheeler, Kane, Enstrom, Byfuglien, Bogosian and Pavelec, plus the 2 rookies) isn't that bad, but it is lacking true elite or upper tier talent. Maybe Kane fits into that group, but ask Calgary fans how that turns out having an elite winger with no one to play with. When Cheveldayoff took the GM position upon relocation, he stated it would be a 5 year plan for this franchise. The cupboards were bare when he came into the organization and he has made vast improvements in this regards , but Winnipeg hockey fans know the game and aren't stupid and would like a competitive product on the ice or at this a consistent effort on a nightly basis.
Rumours are a daily occurrence right now with guys like Ladd, Byfuglien and Kane the most notable names being thrown about. Why not trade them? The trade value at the moment for all of them is very favourable considering their reasonable contacts and a rising cap next season. The return for these players would bring back multiple assets for the future and set them up pretty well for the long term. I'm not saying to trade these guys for just prospects and picks, but to also acquire young players playing at the NHL level now and change the culture( or develop one at least) with this team. Personally, I would wait till the draft to make a decision for a maximum return, unless a deal comes around that's to good to pass up.
Others players that the Jets could potentially/should move are Setoguchi, Jokinen and Stuart, all impending UFA's. I don't see any of these players staying with the team beyond this season and all are still very serviceable NHL guys that playoff teams need that can fetch a modest return.
I guess we should look into Claude Noel while we are at it. I don't know what type of hockey the Jets play, I really don't. Every night they seems to play a different style of game and they seems to just go out there not really knowing what to do. When Noel was hired, we was said to be a teacher for young players, but having been coaching this team for over 175 games, there seems to be a player regression not improvement. Add to the fact Alex Burmistrov jumped to the KHL and signed a 2 year deal(same term Noel has on his contract) looks like a telling sign some of the players are not on the same page with the coach, or this my just be a mere coincidence.
Winnipeg fans waited so long to have NHL hockey back in the city and were well aware it was going to take time to get a playoff team. They are tired of seeing a lackluster effort and no team direction on a nightly basis and when the home team has been getting booed off the ice, this isn't a good thing and patience is wearing thin for this fan base. Kevin Cheveldayoff, please do something of value. Stop sitting there waiting for something to happen and make the occasional waiver claim because it isn't working anymore.