Winnipeg Jets Trade Deadline Candidates

Posted by Michael Remis in Columns,Jets Columns,Winnipeg Jets on January 9, 2012 — 18 Comments

After reading Elliotte Friedman’s 30 thoughts last week (which are always a good read), he touched on a number of topics, mainly the Coyotes and the Winter Classic. However, there was one paragraph in there that got me thinking.

“You guys love trade talk, so here’s some: If you’ve got defencemen to trade, you are in position A. NHL general managers may sell their children for blue-line depth. One defenceman who appears to be available and will command interest is Carolina’s Tim Gleason

Anyone who has watched the Jets so far this season, is aware that one of the reasons they have had so much success is their blueline depth.

The February 27, 2012 trade deadline may be a little less than two months away, but it is important to note that  last season team’s that acted early in their pursuit of key assets.

While the Jets have been tight lipped with respect to trade rumors, there are few things more interesting than trade speculation.

Let’s take a look at the current Jets defensemen and see who fits the profile of a player who is likely to be traded. (All salary and cap numbers according to CapGeek)

Dustin Byfuglien 4 years remaining, $5.2 million cap hit per year, limited no trade clause

At the start of the year, fans were calling for Buff to be thrown out of town. His playing style was described as “roving” rather than defense. While he may be better suited as a power forward than a defenseman, he has settled down recently. His size and shot give the Jets a blue line presence that cannot be duplicated by many players around the league. His contract makes him unlikely to be traded unless it would be for another teams overpriced star.

Likeliness of a trade: Low

Tobias Enstrom 1 year remaining, $3.75 million cap hit, UFA after next season

While the Jets depth on defense limited the impact his injury could have had on the team, upon his return it was evident how much of an upgrade Enstrom brought to the lineup. The 27 year old is entering the prime of his career and is a player management should be trying to lock up for long term as he is a UFA after next season.

Likeliness of a trade: Low

Zach Bogosian 1 year remaining, $2.5 million cap hit, RFA after next season

The 21 year old is having a breakout season; GM Kevin Cheveldayoff stated many times in the preseason how much he enjoys Bogosian’s game. Under team control for the next several seasons, it’s safe to say he’ll be around for a while

Likeliness of a trade: Low

Ron Hainsey 1 year remaining, $4.5 million cap hit, UFA after next season, no trade clause to 15 teams

Hainsey has been solid on the blue line playing significant minutes, including minutes on  the penalty kill and occasionally on the power play. The 30-year-old veteran would fit in quite well as a depth defenseman on a playoff contender. Some teams may be deterred by his limited no trade clause and high cap hit; he is a more likely candidate to be traded at next year’s trade deadline than this year’s. On the Illegal Curve Hockey Show, Richard Pollock has been saying the Conneticut native would be a great fit on the New York Rangers.

Likeliness of a trade: Moderate

Mark Stuart 2 years remaining, $1.7 million cap hit, UFA after 2013-14 season

Acquired last season by Atlanta at the trade deadline, Stuart has been a defensive force for the Jets this season. A leader in the locker room, Stuart plays like he is the toughest player on the ice, dropping hits, getting in fights and ranking among league leaders in blocked shots. With the Jets defenseman decimated by injuries, Stuart demonstrated he can step up into a larger role. He receives a reasonable salary over the next two seasons which makes him attractive to other teams, but is also a reason why the cap conscious Jets would want to keep him. Stuart plays a style that is fit for playoff hockey and would look nice on the back end of a playoff roster.

Likeliness of a trade: Moderate

Johnny Oduya $3.5 million cap hit ($4 million actual salary), UFA after this season

After a dreadful first few games which caused Coach Noel to coin the term “free pizza”, Oduya has picked up his play recently. The 30-year-old Swede has played on the power play and the penalty kill and again, would be a nice fit on the back end of a team heading to the playoffs. While his large salary may be a deterrent, the team picking him up would have it pro-rated for the remainder of the season. As a UFA next season the team acquiring him would not be forced to keep him.

Likeliness of a trade: High

  • Good article.  I’d agree, Remis.  Oduya is almost certainly on his way out.  The question, to me, is if anyone else follows him?  I think the Jets’ play until the end of the month will determine that; even if it may not be best for the team long-term.

  • Anonymous

    I would much rather see Hainsey go instead of Oduya. 

  • Thanks RP, I am very curious to see what the Jets will do at the trade deadline. Will be a good test for Jets management…I’ll have to do another post on forwards who could potentially be on the way out.

    Do you think Oduya’s high salary (it’s about 4 million for the season so lets say 2 million for the remainder) will deter teams from acquiring him? What could they even get for him? a 5th round pick?

  • A few other players that could be on their way out…

    Mark Flood – He is a D man, a pending UFA and could be a nice insurance policy for a team who is about to make a playoff run. He is also carries next to no cap hit, so a team with Cap issues wouldn’t have a hard time squeezing him in. 

    Kyle Wellwood – He has done a great job for the Jets. He can play all three forward positions and he can help out on the powerplay. Welly is also a UFA at the end of the season. As much as I’d like to see him stick around, his production and UFA status and low cap number could make him an attractive add for contending teams that are struggling on the powerplay. Dallas or St. Louis could make sense.

    Jim Slater – Another player that I really like. He works hard, he wins faceoffs, he blocks shots and kills penalties, but he is also a pending UFA with a low cap number. Could a team that is struggling on the PK and or in the faceoff circle be interested in his services? San Jose has a terrible PK for example.

    Not sure that any of these guys move, but it is possible. 

  • Same. 

    Oduya may be more attractive to buyers though. Then again, a team that has a self imposed cap may be able to make a move for Hainsey. His cap number next year is 1.5 million larger than his actual salary. 3 mill isn’t terrible for a play like Hainsey.

  • Anonymous

    Please trade Ladd.

  • Dale Nesbitt

    Slater isn’t going anywhere.  He’s just about the only Jet who can win a face-off.

  • it’s tough to find value right now as much as we would like to see Oduya shipped out, we can try to pray on teams in need of a shake up, but we don’t need a Gomez?  I can’t see us chasing after Getzlaf either (anaheim would be stupid to let him go)  I’m glad Chevy isn’t pullin the trigger on just anything to move guys, but I don’t like seeing Flood out of the lineup when he has played well enough to earn a spot I think.  Something has got to give soon.

  • it’s tough to find value right now as much as we would like to see Oduya shipped out, we can try to pray on teams in need of a shake up, but we don’t need a Gomez?  I can’t see us chasing after Getzlaf either (anaheim would be stupid to let him go)  I’m glad Chevy isn’t pullin the trigger on just anything to move guys, but I don’t like seeing Flood out of the lineup when he has played well enough to earn a spot I think.  Something has got to give soon.

  • I think the amount of cap space both have, both could be gone. Hainsey isn’t THAT great and hasn’t really impressed. Same with Oduya as he is hit or miss. A lot of room to get some more forward depth. Bring up flood and start playing him, see how leech does. Postma will be ready in a year or two to boot

  • Wouldn’t say trade ladd, just make him a healthy scratch to get his act together

  • Trade Oduya, bring up flood. Use that Cap space to bring up a good forward depth

  • Am I the only one that doesn’t want to see any of our players get traded?  I love this team.  Maybe I have a bit of a soft spot for all the players because of the inaugural season, but I wouldn’t trade any of them.

    It’s going to be a little upsetting when the first Jet player is eventually traded away.

  • Hainsey or Stuart Id say, Hainsey is weak on his backhand and that tough-guy attitude (Stuart) can really get you in trouble with penalties, I just think Oduya is far too valuable to trade.

  • I’m a firm believer in trying to get something in return for a pending UFA is there is a fear of leaving the team with nothing in return. However, with that being said it’s not terrible to hang onto a guy who is leaving because it opens space to make a move during free agency. As long as there aren’t any rash decisions and the Management group keeps to the plan I’m all for building from within. If an opportunity to move someone arises i’m sure Zinger and Chevy will weigh their options and make the smart choice. Their track records speak for themselves and from what I know about them they think along the same same and Zinger has found a few diamonds in the rough with the Moose. Example Alex Burrows (echl) and Rick Rypien amongst others.

  • don’t forget about ryan kesler, he was from the moose organization as well, and cody hodgson, an obvious calder trophy candidate

  • Kyle Kosior

    I think Wellwood is a very likely candidate. He can help teams immediately and is a very low-risk addition. Jets can always make a pitch to re-sign him in the summer.

  • Daisy Giesbrecht

    Honestly, our depth on goaltending is very good.  I don’t know that Khabibulin would be a good trade, even for nostalgic purposes.  We’d be better off to rent Selanne for the playoffs, god willing.  I know that’s probably not going to happen.