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.
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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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