Winnipeg Jets: 3 Reasons Why the Jets Should Trade Andrew Copp

Winnipeg Jets, Andrew Copp, #9, (Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets, Andrew Copp, #9, (Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets, Neal Pionk (4). Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports /

1. The Jets Need to Focus on Paying Their Defense

For the last two seasons, the Jets have had one of the lowest overall salary levels for their top-six defense in the NHL. Not coincidently, the Jets have also had one of the worst top-six defenses in the NHL on all metrics.

Having the highest salaries for a specific position group does not guarantee that group will be the best in the NHL, as we can all cite many bad contract decisions teams have made. However, if a substantial portion of your roster is comprised of minimum or near minimum salary veteran contracts on defense as the Jets has the last two seasons, you will likely struggle on defense.

The Jets now have two proven veteran NHL defensemen in Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt who come with reasonable, but larger contracts than the Jets have paid lately. One can argue about whether Josh Morrissey is playing at the level of his $6.2 million AAV contract, but I would argue that if not, he’s not majorly overpaid.

With Dylan DeMelo’s $3 million AAV the Jets are now paying a combined $19 million per season on four defensemen, before considering Neal Pionk’s new contract. While that may seem frightening to Jets fans who have watched the team bargain shop for veteran players on the back end, I welcome it.

Kevin Cheveldayoff is finally focusing salary resources on the weakest link in the Jets chain. Trading Andrew Copp would allow the Jets general manager to easily sign their best defenseman this past season, Neal Pionk, to a long term deal somewhere between $5 – 6 million AAV.

Salary arbitration hearings will be held from August 11 to August 26, so Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to work quickly deciding the future of Andrew Copp.

Winnipeg Jets Fans: Do you think the Jets should trade Andrew Copp? Leave your comments below!

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