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Rob Mahon The Hockey Writers

Published on Wednesday, November 18, 2015





Should the Winnipeg Jets Make a Deal?

A Winnipeg Jets team that was once an impressive 9-5-1 has slipped to 9-10-2, and the six-game losing streak may have consequences for the Jets’ current roster.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, who is as close to an unimpeachable source as you can get, the Winnipeg Jets are in the hunt for a top-six forward, and are willing to dangle some pretty tempting pieces to acquire one. After all, you have to give a lot to get a lot in today’s NHL, and all indications are the Jets are willing to give a lot.

Currently mired in a six-game losing streak, going 0-4 on a Central Division road trip and really putting themselves behind the eight ball, the Winnipeg Jets need something to change. Trading away players after a losing streak may seem like a knee-jerk reaction, but realistically, a six-game losing in the Central Division can be devastating, and it can’t be ignored. The Jets may be looking to make a deal, and according to Dreger, they may have somebody in mind.

Some may decry this as just rumours, but coming from Darren Dreger, it’s awfully hard to shrug off. Then, later, Bob McKenzie added his voice to Dreger’s, and his considerable credibility along with it.

Say what you want about expert panels, there’s no denying the immense sway Bob McKenzie holds in the hockey world. But we’re not here to discuss whether the rumours are true. We’re here to discuss whether the Jets should pursue this.

Change is Coming

As McKenzie put it, the Winnipeg Jets are looking for a top six forward, no doubt about it. But then, who isn’t?

What the Jets want is out there, to be sure. There have been rumour surrounding Matt Duchene for a few weeks now, but the Jets may not be willing to give up (or even have) the assets Colorado would demand in return. At any rate, at least one source close to that situation, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, has already shot the rumours down.

Still, the commodity the Jets are after is available, if one knows where to look and, more importantly, is willing to pay through the nose for it. Toby Enstrom, sadly, would likely only be one part of that payment. A top six forward in today’s market is worth more than an aging, offensively defunct defender. The only thing working in the Jets favour is that plenty of teams need defensemen at various points throughout the year.

I had toyed with the idea that Enstrom could be used in a trade with Columbus, who need defensemen, involving Blue Jackets’ prospect Kirby Rychel, who has been called up and sent down a staggering number of times this year. Enstrom’s recent play in Winnipeg isn’t going to endear him to potential trade suitors, however, so a draft pick or one of Winnipeg’s highly touted prospects will have to go out along with him if the Jets want immediate help up front. While the Winnipeg Jets have a prospect pool that is generally lauded for its depth they may be reluctant to part with one of their prized future assets.

Yet, for the help they might get in return, be it Rychel or somebody more seasoned, it’s a risk that must be taken if the Jets want to take an important step forward this season. The Jets’ current losing streak has to be addressed somehow by management, and their recent line juggling just isn’t getting the job done.

It’s time for the Winnipeg Jets to make a move and switch some things up, and if that means sending one of their top left handed defenders out of town, that’s a risk they just might have to live with.


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