There is no question that the Winnipeg Jets have been lucky to find themselves in playoff contention given the multiple missing pieces on their blue line. It was no surprise that the big man, Tyler Myers left town in pursuit of a lucrative deal with the Canucks. However, the loss of Dustin Byfuglien was a bit more surprising. Despite having a number of good seasons with the Jets, big Byfuglien seems to be pondering the idea of hanging up the skates. He is currently both injured and suspended by the team as he failed to report to training camp this year. He has stated off the record that he is unsure about his future as a hockey player.
Losing key players on defence, the Jets have still found success with a number of different players filling voids in their lineup. Neal Pionk, Luca Sbisa, Dmitry Kulikov and recently Samy Niku have all performed well, whether it be defensively or offensively. The only big name defenceman to return this year is Josh Morrissey, who is arguably their most dependable player at his position. He is undoubtedly the rock of their defence, but the supporting cast has pulled their weight all season.
Nonetheless, this blue line is not tremendously deep and will surely be tested down the stretch. Alex Martinez of the L.A. Kings could be a fantastic fit for the team. He adds depth, experience and is signed until the end of the 2020-21 season. His numbers won't blow anybody away, but he fits the build for a Western conference team looking to add a piece. He is dependable defensively and has experience on both special teams with the Kings. His largest point totals were 31 and 39, coming in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Both seasons he surpassed the ten point mark on the power-play, while also contributing on the penalty kill. He offers versatility, leadership and experience; something lacking with the current Jets blue line.
It is uncertain what the asking price would be, but it will likely involve something similar to what the Leafs paid for Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford. The Kings would likely pursue a young forward to add a scoring touch moving forward, potentially looking at a talented prospect like Kristian Vesalainen or Andrei Chibisov. Both players are currently with the Jets AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Both players average about .50 points per game and have great potential given the fact that they are both enormous human beings who also possess skill. Both prospects fit the needs of the Kings and could potentially be part of the trade. Depending on which prospect the Jets would be willing to trade, a pick or two might be needed to convince the Kings to make the deal.