So last week I wrote about the upcoming UFA's and who the Jets may unload if they are not realistically in the playoff chase. This week there have been various reports from several sources claiming that Captain Andrew Ladd is now on the block, joining the likes of Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien. My question to all three of these rumours would be WHY?
Edmonton - January 29, 2014 - So last week I wrote about the upcoming UFA's and who the Jets may unload if they are not realistically in the playoff chase.
This week there have been various reports from several sources claiming that Captain Andrew Ladd is now on the block, joining the likes of Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien.
My question to all three of these rumours would be WHY?
None of the three players are upcoming free agents. None of the three players have outrageous salaries.
All three of the players are core guys and contributing. So what am I missing? Each player is very good in their own right and would command massive returns, which I guess answers my question. Sportsnet’s Brian Lawton hinted at the Jets wanting players around the age cluster of Zach Bogosian. If that is true I would remove Kane from this conversation.
So then lets look at Ladd and Buff and make the argument for each. First off, I'm not sure if Byfuglien is really happy playing forward. Only he and his coach know for sure but while they are winning, that isn't going to change. He does get to act as the power play QB which I'm sure he enjoys and his minutes are still up above the team average. Is his peak value to the Jets as a forward or as a trade chip? That is a great question and I believe the answer is the latter. There are NO big D men who can log top line minutes available. The Jets can name their price and sit back and collect a kings ransom. Maybe they have done this already. He is much easier to replace at forward than he is on D, which they have already done. My guess, he stays and maybe is in play at the draft.
Andrew Ladd is the one that caught me off guard as he is only 28 years old. This is his 9th season already and has played in 53 playoff games at high intensity. It could be argued that those games equal another season and maybe, just maybe he is about to enter the back nine of his career. That is a tough call though because what Andrew Ladd brings to the game is something that EVERY team covets. Outside of a center and defensemen, a big tough winger who can score is on the top of everyone's shopping list. He has a decent cap number that reflects his production, but the elite teams would have to wiggle him into their cap. The fact of the matter is he is the captain. He is the player that moved to Winnipeg first when the team was purchased and he is the leader. Moving him could greatly effect the room and the chemistry of this team and he can still play as well. His numbers are right on track with his career average. Last years near point a game average was certainly unsustainable and shouldn't have been the expectation for this year or any other year to be honest. My guess, he is in Winnipeg until he decides otherwise. Talk to me when he is a UFA and has rejected a team extension.
This is my guess, and its only a guess. Media in eastern Canada still haven't gotten in through their thick heads that the Jets are a viable franchise. This is not a novelty, they are here to stay. Last summer they were able to resign ALL OF THEIR FREE AGENTS. NO ONE DEMANDED A TRADE. Are the Jets a perfect team? No, they are not. Should they make some deal to bring some balance and depth to their NHL roster? Definitely. Not at the cost of their captain and their best young forward. Big Buff, we'll see...
Dean Belanger originally starting blogging at Hockey's Future way back in 2001. Born in Winnipeg, he was a Jets fan until 1995. He then became an Oilers fan about 1997/98. He then became a season ticket holder in 1999. Then the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg the day after his Birthday in 2011, things got confusing... If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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