What the Wellwood signing means for Spencer Machacek

Posted by Michael Remis in Radio,Roster Analysis,Winnipeg Jets on July 16, 2012 — 7 Comments

Last Friday, the Jets signed forward Kyle Wellwood to a one year contract. The signing fills up the Jets forward lines and leaves little room for young players Patrice Cormier, Spencer Machacek or Ben Maxwell to earn ice time.

Let’s assume the lines for next season will be similar to how they were last season. With the current roster they would look like this:

Ladd – Little – Wheeler

Kane – Jokinen – Wellwood

Ponikarovsky – Burmistrov – Antropov

Miettinen – Slater – Thorburn

This leaves one spot open on the roster for Patrice Cormier, Carl Klingberg, Spencer Machacek or Ben Maxwell to occupy.

On this past Saturday’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show, Drew, Richard and Ezra speculated that there may not be a spot on the roster for Spencer Machacek, who is currently an RFA.

The entire episode of the most recent Illegal Curve Hockey Show is available for download at IllegalCurve.com, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

The team has several right handed shooters in the right wing slot: Blake Wheeler, Kyle Wellwood, Chris Thorburn and Antti Miettienen

Richard Pollock went on:

“This says a lot about what they think of Spencer Machacek, who they put through waivers last year, so that says a lot about what they think of him anyways. This signing to me, signals they don’t have much in the way of hope for him. The same goes for Carl Klingberg, you’d assume he’ll spend another year in the AHL.”

“The only spot that’s available right now is the fourth line left wing spot that Tanner Glass occupied last season.”

Drew Mindell continued:

“In my mind I thought Kyle Wellwood was gone to be honest; but this Wellwood signing tells you that the Jets don’t have a lot of hope that there’s somebody from the AHL who could fill that right side role.”

Ezra Ginsburg added:

“They’re going to play Wellwood on the second or third line because they don’t believe that Machacek or Ivan Telegin will fill Wellwood’s offensive contributions.”

Richard Pollock summed up the Jets offseason moves with this comment:

“You’re replacing Mason with Montoya, Glass and Stapleton with Jokinen and Ponikarosvky, so you’ve gotten better. Right now you’re in the mix for the 10-9-8-7 slots, maybe even sixth (in the Eastern Conference).”

“Bringing back Wellwood says as much about Wellwood as it does about what they think of the other players in the system. This is a complete red flag that these guys will never be ready. Look at the ages of these players.”

Ben Maxwell –  24

Spencer Machacek – 23

Patrice Cormier – 22

Carl Klingberg – 21

“If they thought either of them would be a third line right winger, they would be playing right now.”

Spencer Machacek remains an RFA and little updates have been provided on the negotiation process. With little room on the roster, the Jets should be looking to sign him to a two-way contract.

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  • garret9

    Since they are going for a “top9” system with 3 scoring lines, it creates a different dichotmy with how you maintain and promote prospects relative to the top 6 system.
    Regardless you also have to keep this in mind:
    *some teams graduate their prospects quite late (ex: Detroit)
    *you want your prospects to fight for a spot and earn it as opposed to be given it
    *what role an individual plays (for example neither Klingberg, Machecek or Cormier currently have the skillset to maintain a legitimate top line position; although Klingberg may next season, Machecek and Cormier look to be 3rd/4th line players with shutdown/energy roles)

    In the end, really, it was a second line position that was open and no one from the farm is ready for that (yet)

  • Chris_Topher69

    I don’t agree with you guys on this topic at all. Wellwood had a career year, but got a lot of minutes to do so. Mach played minimal minutes at the end of the year and achieved pretty decent points. Just because these guys are younger does not mean they wont continue to develop and the Jets are not so narrow minded as you guys to think that. all players develop at different rates based on where they played through their early years. do you anticipate that Trouba, once out of college is going to be considered a bust after hes 22 and playing for the Rock??? Wellwood & Poni are on one year deals for crying out loud. If Mittens & Burmi dont play better, I can see guys that have been working hard, like Mach or Cormier or Maxwell getting a chance. The illegal egos are starting to get a little too big and i think once you guys have run a team and not a talk radio show, people might take your opinions a little more seriously.

  • Guys, I’m a huge fan of
    your show and try to it catch every time. You provide good
    background on the Jets which is still fantastic to witness for this
    longtime fan.

    One thing that I noticed
    throughout the year is that you don’t pay an awful lot of attention to
    prospects and the draft. Things started off well in October and
    November with some IC prospect updates. Sadly, mainly 2011 draftees
    were the focus and not the entire group. When you covered the draft
    in Pittsburgh you turned to “draft experts” like Tom Lynn. Sorry,
    guys this was the first time where I seriously questioned your
    program. Has anybody checked his past work and record with the Wild
    before allowing him to come on to your show?  

    The organization stressed
    that it wants to build through drafting and developing players. I
    think it would be appropriate for the teams flagship station to
    provide at a better prospect and draft coverage. In the article above
    you voice concern about our young guns. Okay fair! At the same time,
    why don’t you voice your concerns about the Jets scouts and the
    hockey operation people which drafted them? Many, too many in my
    opinion, Thrasher scouts made the way over to the Jets. Hopefully, I
    don’t need to lecture anybody about their track record. Machecek,
    Klingberg and Maxwell don’t wow you with their amazing skills which
    is okay. What is concerning is that Sutter, Kosmachuck and Lowry
    don’t wow me much either. In this day and age, teams can’t rely on
    the UFA market to fill out Top6 spots. 

    Don’t discount drops in
    production, inconsistent play, injuries and other scenarios which
    will open spots for prospects in the lineup. Wheeler and Wellwood had career years
    last season. How likely is that they will repeat? Jim Slater played
    great in contract year. How many times have players regressed in the
    first year of their new contract? Slater never fully impressed him in
    his entire tenure with the franchise. Maxwell, Cormier, Klingberg and
    Machacek will get their chances.  

  • Lots of negativity here, I don’t get it…

    I don’t think the Wellwood signing says anything about the prospect pool.  The Jets seem to be committed to taking their time with prospects. This is just an extension of that. 

    Ben Maxwell – He is 24 and couldn’t stick with the Jets or the Ducks last year, he is probably a career AHLer and call up option.

    Spencer Machacek – He is 23 and will probably net a 1 way deal and 4th line minutes. He is in all likelihood a 3rd or 4th liner anyways, so this sounds about right. I don’t think Welly took his spot. 

    Patrice Cormier – He is 22 and will be pushing for a roster spot, but he is another 4th liner and we don’t really need one right now. He wasn’t in the running for the minutes that Welly will be taking. Plus the Jets can move him back and forth the St John’s without worrying about waivers.

    Carl Klingberg – Sure, he is 21, but I don’t think I really don’t see him as close to NHL ready. He really struggled through the second half of last year and is still very raw. I don’t think he has the defensive game to play in a bottom 6 role and he definitely doesn’t have the offense to play in in a top 6 role. Plus he is usually a Left and we needed someone for the right side. I don’t expect to see Carl for another year or two.

    I love what the Jets have done this offseason.

  • I don’t think Machacek will ever pan out as anything more than a 3rd liner for a couple reasons:

    1) He isn’t a great AHL scorer. 
    2) The hot start this year was a bit of a mirage. While Machacek was on the ice 26.3% of all shots (that he or any of his teammates took) resulted in goals. That requires unsustainable levels of good fortune. 

    I doubt he will ever score more than 30 points in a season.

  • Yes, hopefully no need to stress over no room on the roster for some ‘prospects’.
    Hopefully coach Noel will enact his power as coach and sit guys, no matter how experienced for’un-interested effort and lap-si-daisical play’ early on in the season (not wait until 1 week to trade deadline) and ask for some ‘call-up’ help from St.John’s.
    Would be nice to have more info and updates on ‘prospects’ throughout the season!
    And what about Scheifele?  He does not want to play in St. John’s either.  Thinks he’s NHL ready.  Part of the problem is too many ‘experienced’ players on the roster with one-way/high-salary contracts who are only decent roster players for about 40 games of the year.  Antropov, Miettinen, Thorburn, Ponikarovsky, possibly Wellwood (although very decent point production last year) and even Bryan Little needs to consistently compete and produce, in my opinion, or maybe he should watch from the press box and let a Scheifele get some exposure and opportunity?  And I think  more evaluation needs to occur on best when to use Slater for key face-offs and short-handed duty, along with Thorburn, as opposed to guaranteed 3rd or 4th line minutes!
    Have a Cormier or Maxwell ready to ‘fill-in’ and  play more steadily against other top-lines.  Even Machacek deserves some serious minutes early on, if they can resign him, to see if he can produce again. 
    Next season(2013) brings quite a few contracts up and maybe more over-paid/under-achievers positions would be available for ‘prospects’ for sure!

  • Klingberg is ready for a full trial in NHL game action.  Just no room for him yet!  He’ll prove himself (or not) in St.John’s this season!  Uff-Da.  Rah- rah-rah.