History repeating: Has the Winnipeg Jets trade window now expired?

Winnipeg Jets (Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets (Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports) /

I’ve never understood Einstein’s axiom: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. With all due respect to the late Albert Einstein, that behavior is not insane, but rather exceedingly stupid. The Winnipeg Jets organization, to put it bluntly, are being stupid.

This feels like Groundhog’s Day – not the incredible Bill Murray version, but rather the real-life version wherein the Jets see their shadow, and scurry away. Faced with the omnipresent reality that their former captain, both top centreman, and generational goalie are all impending free-agency after next year – the Jets seem content to sit the better part of this NHL Trade Deadline out. If not now, then when?

Are the Jets a flawed team that started hot, and have been treading water ever since? Absolutely. Does this roster have Calder, Vezina, and Norris candidates with generation talent in Connor, Ehlers and PLD? Also, yes. That is why it seemed apparent the Jets needed to shoot their shot (and maybe hit the net).

The Winnipeg Jets might be done dealing this season

In no particular order, here is how the Jets organization has exhibited ‘insane’ behavior:

  • The team replaced their former old-school, line-juggling coach with another old-school, line-juggling coach, albeit one with better “vibes”.
  • They continue to play the defensively compromised Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler pairing which is the metaphysical embodiment of a dog chasing its tail.
  • They fail to address key needs, at key positions. The bottom 6 forwards are a liability and have habitually been below average (outside of their 2018 run).
  • They continue to employ Logan Stanley.
  • There is continued mismanagement of Nik Ehlers. Statistically, he is the Jets best player on the powerplay, and the Connor-PLD-Ehlers line is top 20 in the league 5v5, yet he gets saddled with limited minutes and secondary opportunities.
  • They fail to either develop or trade for value in their youth at the defensive position.
  • They play Blake Wheeler 20 minutes a game.

I understand that the Jets are limited by small-market malleability and have had some unfortunate injury luck (Perfetti and now PLD). It doesn’t explain these unforced errors that keep happening over and over and over again. Even a hack like Brené Brown can understand that patterns need to change, and the Jets should perhaps zig, where the organization has traditionally zagged.

The Jets lost to the Kings last night in a shootout but seemed to find their goal-scoring touch. Nino Neiderreiter provided a physical spark, and Kevin Stenlund provided much-needed scoring depth. Yet, a bevy of trade assets was gobbled up on Tuesday, which leaves little time, and a talent pool for improvement. The Jets didn’t need just one move (give me fuel), but multiple moves, and appear to have settled like a sedentary rock.

Next. Breaking down the Jets acquisition of Nino Niederreiter. dark

In a rare misstep, Elliotte Freidman announced on his podcast that he believed the Jets to be ‘done’ dealing, but subsequently walked that position back. While Tuesday was an atypically busy day, there are still assets on the market. Jakob Chychrun, Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz to name a few.

Trading away the future for an uncertain present can be a fool’s errand. That said, Mike McDermott from “Rounders” put it best: “You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle. But you can’t win much either.” A sane thought.