Projecting the Winnipeg Jets Defense

Posted by Michael Remis in Radio,Roster Analysis,Winnipeg Jets on July 18, 2012 — 6 Comments

On Friday, the Winnipeg Jets signed Paul Postma to a one year, one way contract. The Winnipeg Jets now has seven defensemen signed to one-way contracts.

The second segment of Saturday’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show began with Jets talk.

The Illegal Curve Hockey Show on TSN Radio 1290 airs at a special time during the summer, from 9am-11am on Saturday. The following discussion has been transcribed and paraphrased from the latest episode available for download at IllegalCurve.com. Alternatively you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and have it automatically downloaded when it becomes available.

Host Drew Mindell (@ICDrew) began the segment:

“Where does this leave pending UFA Mark Flood?”

Mark Flood played 33 games for the Jets last season, averaging 15:21 minutes per game of icetime. The 27 year old recorded three goals, four assists, for a total of seven points and was able to step in to the lineup when needed. He was a fan favourite after spending 2010-11 with the Manitoba Moose and transitioning to the IceCaps. Flood was on a two-way contract last season, but the Jets did not send him down at any point after his initial call up, as he would have to pass through waivers on the way down, and they did not want to lose him. (Even though Flood was signed to a two way contract last season, as per the CBA, his age would have required him to pass through waivers, should the Jets had wanted to send him to the AHL.)

The discussion continued:

“It’s unlikely that Mark Flood will get a one-way contract offer from the Jets, he might get a two-way contract but my guess is that’s a situation where it’s on the table waiting for him, but he’s seeing what else is available to him potentially on a one way deal.”

Ezra Ginsburg (@ICEzzyG) added:

“Mark Flood is an unrestricted free agent, so he can sign with anybody, but obviously he has the history with the Manitoba Moose (and the True North organization).”

Ginsburg, who recently quit smoking (#GoTeamEzzy) projected that Flood would likely sign a two way contract with the Jets if he did not receive a one-way contract from another team.

As for Paul Postma, Richard Pollock (@ICRichyP) feels it’s time him to get a full shot at a spot in the lineup.

“I’m assuming Postma is going to get a shot here (as a result of the one-way deal). Clitsome was a guy the Jets picked up off of waivers to replace Oduya, it’s time to give Postma a shot.”

Taking the position of head coach, Pollock gave his insight on potential defense pairings.

“What you would want to do is you’d want to have the three right handed defenseman, Byfuglien, Bogosian and Postma, three big guys and puck movers playing the right side. Then the combination of Hainsey, Enstrom and Stuart on the left side, with Clitsome being the seventh defenseman.”

Here are the projected defense pairings, (obviously changes will be made throughout the season, but for the time being).

Byfuglien – Enstrom

Stuart – Bogosian

Hainsey – Postma

Clitsome

Drew Mindell added, “with Postma’s best attributes being his offensive skills, you would think that he will get some minutes on the power play.”

Pollock continued, “He’ll probably get some time on the second power play unit, they’ll try to shelter him I’m guessing (due to the fact that this will be his first full NHL season).”

Ezra Ginsburg: “Everything we’ve heard about the way he’s played in St. John’s and in the NHL, he’s earned it. He was second on the team last year in scoring, he’s been close to a point per game in the AHL. He’s at that age (where prospects make the jump to the NHL). We’ve watched him a little bit, and Jets fans got to see him a couple times this year, Postma is a very steady defenseman, he’s not overly physical, but he’s a good skater, he’s smart, you hear a lot about his intelligence, his hockey IQ and he’s going to give them another element on the power play.”

“Losing a guy like Johnny Oduya, he replaces that, Postma is definitely going to get a lot more time. I agree with that Grant Clitsome’s probably going to be in the same position that Derek Meech and Mark Flood were toward the end of last year as the seventh defenseman.”

Pollock:

“There’s no lack of talent on the back end, the question is can they play defense. We know all these guys can move the puck for the most part, except for Stuart really, but they’re not great defensively, especially as a unit. These guys need to play defense, and they didn’t do a great job of it last year. Can they do a good job of that this year? (It will be tough) because the contents of the defense haven’t changed much aside from Paul Postma. He’s improved in the defensive game as far as we know from talking with Keith McCambridge and Robin Short of the St. John’s Telegram, having said that, it’s one thing to do that at the AHL level, it’s another thing to do it at the NHL level.

You expect the Jets to ease him in on the third defense pairing, and second line power play, they’ll see what he’s got and hopefully he can add some nice value to the squad, but he’ll need to play well defensively.”

The entire interview is available here at Illegal Curve, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Follow the author on twitter @mremis

The Illegal Curve Hockey Show airs Saturdays from noon to 3pm on TSN Radio 1290.

Do you think these are the seven defensemen the Jets will start the 2012-13 season with, or do you foresee some additional moves made on the back end? A trade? An additional signing? Sound off in the comments section!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=556690690 Matt Melnyk

    I’d have to think that Postma would begin as the 7th D-man, Clitsome was a regular in Columbus. I’d like to think that the established NHLer should be beat out in training camp and the newbie earn his spot before we hand it to him. 

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    Thing is, we know what Clitsome is.  Postma has paid his dues and I think it is time to give him a regular shot.  He also adds size, a right handed shot and should help the transition game and second power play unit.

  • garret9

    Not going to happen…
    There’s a reason why Stuart has never played larger than 3rd pairing role. As much heart and effort he puts into it, he easily gets ouplayed and falls out of his element, specially when playing more than third paring minutes.
    Switch Hainsey and Stuart and you have what Noel will do.
    Byfuglien+Enström will get most of the offensive minutes.
    Hainsey+Bogosian will get the shutdown/defence minutes.
    Stuart/Clitsom+Postma will play sheltered hours against the lower quality of competition.

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    Bogosian and Stuart played together more than Stuart and any other defenseman last season, so I’m not sure he hasn’t played higher than that role–even though he truly isn’t a top-four defenseman. 
    Postma and Stuart also are both not the fastest so that could present issues against deepers, and more so, faster teams.
    We will see a variety of combinations, in any event.

  • http://twitter.com/TBonnar Timothy Bonnar

    I have to think Postma will be given some real ice time to start the year off. He won’t develop in the press box. Pairings may end up reflecting just how much support he needs. 

    Ideally Stu is in the 3rd pairing, but they may need Hainsey to clean up Paul’s messes. 

  • garret9

    Sorry for the delay and misconception. I more ment injuries aside, Stuart has never successfully played top4 pairing minutes.
    This is more due to Enstrom’s (and other’s in our defense over the season) than as choice.
    For the final 20 games (not counting PK) Stuart almost exclusively paired with Clitsome and Jones. Also, Stuart paired more with Jones/Clitsome/Oduya package than Bogosian. The biggest piece of evidence is that Stuart falls in 5th place for 5v5 TOI for Jets D.