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There is a lot of noise around Winnipeg

June 3, 2019, 1:03 PM ET [101 Comments]
Peter Tessier
Winnipeg Jets Blogger •Winnipeg Jets Writer • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Let's get to brass tax right now- there is so much noise around Winnipeg it's hard to believe all these guys traveling between Boston and St. Louis can manage to find the white smoke billowing from Portage and Donald when Chevy makes a move. Other than signing Brossoit and a minor league depth forward from the K what exactly has Chevy done? What has made it so awful that an RFA forward mentions to some one that he will explore offer sheets?

I know some in Winnipeg give Pagnotta air time but has he ever been right about anything with Winnipeg? Probably on which players bothered to show up at their hospitably party and try on some swag.

Now let's get into reality. One of the funny things with Laine right now is that 'he is going to explore all of his options'- thanks to the Fourth Period for enlightening us. This is the kind of cutting edge insight I expect from some one who travels across the country promoting the hockey lifestyle.

There is only one way Pagnotta knows this and that is because someone who knows details told him or he is using logic. There are a few social media accounts of 'in the know' Finish journalists who follow their countrymen in Canada and the US, there has been noise from those accounts too. So like any of us, Pagnotta can do simple math and make 5 when adding 2 plus 2.

So what is reality? Reality is this, based on local sources there is reason to believe that there is a disconnect between players and coach around the Jets tactics and strategies. Apparently this came out at times during the season and in exit interviews. Maybe some have read this piece from May 4th about the issues with the Jets.

Every data point shows a catering of the Jets possession play and expected results from Christmas on. The entire team took a deep dive into a black hole and the coach was not able to pull them out, the GM could not trade them out of trouble and the one player who may have allegedly irked others was no longer around to be a part of the player only meetings.

The Jets had issues and they are not related to Laine but he may be one of many who has concerns on how things unfolded. So yes, any agent and advisor worth their salt is going to look at what happened with the Jets, talk to his client in detail and then talk to the GM because this is their one shot, they only get one pro hockey career. Imagine what McDavid would do if given a contract mulligan.

Laine has as much leverage as Trouba and Morrissey and Wheeler did when they played contract hardball at early ages. You hold out and demand a trade based on principles you set with agent and publicly repeat. Then you either are traded or signed and life goes on to repeat again or not.

But what about the offer sheet!!! The threat is real. Sure if you believe the Flyers are the Holmgren-Clark led lunatic duo. Name me one GM not named Benning that would take a flyer on an offer sheet that would make the Jets say, 'nah, we'll take the four picks thanks' ?

Here's why that won't happen- because every other team has or should have the same suspicion of what Laine really is as a player. So sure go and risk your picks and salary cap with an offer sheet. I like offer sheets but they don't work, not the way we hope, and not in a league where the currency of draft picks is worth so much more than ever before.

So Laine's agent manages to find a way to 'talk a GM' into presenting an offer sheet is that not tampering? Look, everyone tampers in the NHL and Pagnotta just got beaten like a rented mule to do some one's dirty work if that's actually what's going on. Most of the tampering is slick, and hush-hush not clumsy and silly like this.

Furthermore and probably the most important issue of all is that if Laine wants out and his agent goes the offer sheet route the Jets can match and keep him. And they will match. The only issue the Jets have is the salary cap, just like every other team. There is no 'small market' issue here as they Jets get the second most money in revenue sharing in the entire league. When a team tries to exploit salary and small market from Winnipeg they are basically helping the Jets take money from their own pocket- brilliant strategy.

So the Laine thing might get complicated but it's not going to end with an offer sheet and it won't end with a trade either because Chevy is no Chiarelli and Laine for a 3-4 defenseman is not going to happen. What will happen is a deal will get hammered out and if the player wants out he's going to have to play ball with the team and GM who control his future for the next 4 years.

Go back to when Trouba held out what was his trade value then vs now? I'll take 'now' thank you very much because he's a better player than he was in 2016. Laine will be too and the only reason GMs are listening is to catch Chevy asleep at the wheel and ready to pull a Chiarelli and that won't happen.


Now, speaking of Trouba, I put this comment into comments of the last blog and it's basically this- "Say goodbye to Trouba" and it comes from some one within the Jets who knows these things. This is the fun one because unlike last summer where 17 teams were approached by the Jets and all other turned them down this year GMs are knocking on Chevy's door and when it comes to signing, trading and contracts, this is the deal that will determine Chevy's summer not Laine or Connor.
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